Bloomberg News

India Trade Minister Comments on Blackberry Issue, EU Agreement

August 27, 2010

India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma, comments on the possibility of a ban on some BlackBerry services in the country unless Research in Motion Ltd. resolves concerns that the devices may be used for illegal activities.

Sharma spoke to journalists today at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in the central Vietnamese city of Danang. He also commented on trade discussions with the European Union.

On a potential Blackberry ban:

“It’s not a question of compromise. There are certain concerns that have been raised.

“We hope that this will get resolved in an appropriate manner, that those concerns have been taken on board.

“They need to be addressed.”

On the status of India’s discussions with the EU on a trade agreement:

“We have made substantial progress between India and the EU. Ten rounds have been completed, and the next rounds are going to begin soon.

“Maybe in a week’s time.”

When asked yesterday at the conference about relations with the European Union, amid a dispute over the confiscation of Indian- made generic medicines in Europe for alleged patent infringement:

“We’re not going into the past anymore. We are looking at taking forward the negotiations between India and the EU on a bilateral trade and investment agreement.

“The EU is a strategic partner of India. We have a strategic partnership, which straddles all important areas, including education, civil society dialogue, science and technology, security-related issues, energy.

“If there are issues which become contentious or which become irritants, we have to address them.”

--Jason Folkmanis in Danang, Vietnam, with assistance from Diep Ngoc Pham in Danang. Editor: Beth Thomas

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Folkmanis in Danang, Vietnam, at folkmanis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net


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