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EU, India to take stock of FTA negotiations

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www.cbp.gov

Brussels: A top trade official of the European Union (EU) said on Tuesday that negotiators from India and the EU will meet in September to take stock of negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA), which have been in limbo since 2013.

Photo Credit: www.computing.co.uk
Photo Credit: www.computing.co.uk

“We started negotiations on a free trade agreement with India few years ago. We had different levels of ambitions, so it has been paused for quite some time,” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told reporters here.

Malmstrom said that she met India’s Minister of State (MoS) for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman in Paris earlier this year to discuss the issue.

“We discussed that the chief negotiators’ teams would meet in September to take stock of the progress made and whether there is a similar level of ambition to restart the talks. That doesn’t mean it will resume immediately. There will be a stock-taking meeting I think in the first week of September,” she said.

India and the EU have been negotiating the bilateral free trade and investment agreement since June 2007, but after 12 rounds of talks the negotiations were brought to a standstill in 2013.

According to the European Commission, outstanding issues concern market access for some goods, the overall ambition of the services package, and a meaningful chapter on government procurement and sustainable development.

(IANS)

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TikTok Still Unavailable on Google, Apple App Stores: Report

TikTok refused to share anything more than what it had said on Wednesday

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TikTok
The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

TikTok remained unavailable for download on both Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store on Thursday – a day after the Madras High Court’s Madurai Bench lifted the ban on the short video-sharing app.

Sources in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that official communication to the technology companies would be made after it receives the court directive.

The IT ministry had earlier asked Google and Apple to block the app following the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the Madras HC’s call for ban on the app on April 3.

Deciding the case filed by advocate Muthukumar, the Madurai Bench on Wednesday vacated its interim order banning the app, subject to conditions that pornographic videos will not be uploaded on it, failing which contempt of court proceedings would begin.

Owned by Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok claims to have over 120 million monthly active users in India.

tiktok
TikTok has over 54 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India. Pixabay

A search for the app on Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store on Thursday did not yield any result.

While Google and Apple refused to share any official statement, the companies would be able to reinstate the app only when they receive an official directive revoking the ban.

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TikTok refused to share anything more than what it had said on Wednesday.

“We are glad about this decision and we believe it is also greatly welcomed by our thriving community in India, who use TikTok as a platform to showcase their creativity,” TikTok had said. (IANS)