European Union to Relax Visa Rules for Indian Nationals to Encourage Tourism

Pursuant to a latest report, the European Union (EU) is considering relaxing norms for the Indian visa applicants, who wish to come to this region and thus will boost up the tourism sector.

The Industry and Entrepreneurship, European Commission’s Vice-President, Antonio Tajani, in this context was quoted as saying that EU intends to have more relaxed visa policies for Indian tourists. While interacting with the visiting delegation of Ficci, Mr. Tajani mentioned the need for promoting religious tourism and said that there are a huge number of populations, who belong to Catholic community in India and would like to go to Europe.

Addressing the security aspects that come while issuing of visas to the applicants, he expressed that terrorists do not require a visa to operate. He also added that European Union will be organizing tourism promotional projects between EU and India.

Mr. Tajani also stated that airlines might even offer discounted fares to boost tourists for traveling during off-seasons.

The proposed complete free trade contract between 27-country EU bloc and India includes making the visa polices flexible for professionals.

By taking part in the negotiations, Mrs. Naina Lal Kidwai, the Senior Vice-President of Ficci, was quoted as expressing that Europe companies can consider opportunities for investment in certain sectors of India, for instance: infrastructure, defence, hotel business, space and nuclear technology.

She even indicated that the decision of the government to increase infrastructure funding to $1 trillion during the five- year Plan, i.e., from the year of 2012 to 2017 will bring new trade opportunities for international companies.

Mrs. Kidwai further said that the companies from Europe should consider opportunities in projects like Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), which needs to build up 6 new business townships along with the corridor.

In the year of 2006, DMIC project was conceptualized and is developed as a trading and manufacturing hub, worth $100 billion. This particular project intends to create internationally competitive environment and most modern infrastructure to trigger native commerce, increase overseas investment, create opportunities of employment, boost up exports and achieve sustainable growth.

The said report has also revealed that the bilateral business between India and European Union increased from $83.46 billion to $108 billion in 2012 from the last year.

During the period of January- April this year, exports from India to the EU were $16.17 billion, even as imports were just $18.53 billion.

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