Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the top leadership of the European Union today deliberated on a range of key issues to boost overall ties between India and the 28-nation bloc. The two sides reviewed a full spectrum of their ties at the 14th summit with a focus on ramping up two-way trade and investment.
European Council President Donald Franciszek Tusk, and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker were part of the high-level EU delegation. “Consolidating the Strategic Partnership. PM@narendramodi, @eucopresident and @JunckerEU review bilateral relations at 14th #IndiaEUSummit,” the spokesperson of External Affairs Ministry, Raveesh Kumar, tweeted. India and the EU have been strategic partners since 2004. The bloc is India’s largest regional trading partner with bilateral trade in goods standing at USD 88 billion in 2016. India received around USD 83 billions of foreign direct investment from Europe between 2000 and 2017, constituting approximately 24 per cent of the total FDI inflows into the country during the period, said Kumar.
The 13th summit was held in Brussels in March 30 last year. The meet had failed to make any headway on the long- stalled negotiations for a free trade agreement. Launched in June 2007, the negotiations for the proposed EU-India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) have witnessed many hurdles with both sides having major differences on crucial issues such as intellectual property rights and duty cut in automobile and spirits.