EU's intra-corporate transfer directive to boost investment

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Welcoming the adoption of the EU intra-corporate transfers directive by European Parliament, IT-BPO industry body Nasscom said this is a "necessary step" to make the European Union region attractive to foreign investors.

The European Parliament today approved the proposal for a new EU Directive on the 'conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer' by a majority of 360 votes to 278.

This will allow managers, specialists and graduate trainees to transfer between Nasscom member companies in India and the EU on the basis of a single intra-corporate transfer permit.

"This Directive is a necessary step to increase the attractiveness of the EU for Nasscom members and other foreign investors who would be able to transfer their highly skilled personnel faster from one commercial presence to another within the EU," Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar said.

Easy movement of technically skilled personnel and data across borders are key drivers for trade in services, he added.

"The fact that Indian companies will now encounter a more favourable policy environment in Europe enabling highly skilled workers to travel as needed to provide this service bodes well for the sector," Chandrashekhar said.

Europe accounts for close to 20 per cent of the export revenues of the $ 118 billion Indian IT-BPO industry.

The Directive also provides favourable conditions for these workers to move from one EU member state to another and transferees will have to receive the same remuneration as local workers.

Nasscom has held meetings with the European Commission, European Parliament and Council of the European Union and a liaison with the Indian Embassy in Brussels, to build a coalition of industry associations supporting the Directive.

Europe has become a particularly strong destination for intra-corporate transferees (ICTs) from India, especially in the technology sector.

So far, Nasscom has worked with national governments on an individual basis with regard to work permit issues and believes that there is a growing need for legislation allowing the free movement of ICTs across the EU territory.

The agreement now needs to be formally approved by EU member states' Ministers in the Council of the European Union before it is signed into law, which is expected to take place in the coming weeks.

Member states will then need to adapt their legal systems to facilitate companies wishing to use this Directive, which will take about 24 months.

"During this time, Nasscom will work with these member states and industry associations to ensure that the national laws are workable," the body said.


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