The EU is also the leading foreign investor in India and its share in foreign investment inflows has more than doubled in the last decade.
India on Saturday launched a Connectivity Partnership with the EU (European Union) which aims at deepening the cooperation on transport, energy, digital and people-to-people contacts.
The Connectivity Partnership was launched at the end of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s virtual meeting with all leaders of the EU member nations in the India-EU Leaders meeting in Porto, Portugal. This is the first ever such gathering within the EU+27 format. Today’s meeting was attended by leaders of all the 27 member countries of the EU, also present at the meeting were Charles Michel, President of the European Council and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
Today’s meeting is going to provide an opportunity to give a new impetus to trade and investment negotiations between India and the EU.
As has been reported earlier, the EU is India’s major trading partner and the second largest destination for Indian exports. In the last decade the trade between the EU and India has gone up by 72 per cent. In fact, EU is also
Trade between the EU and India has increased 72 per cent in the last decade.
The EU is also the leading foreign investor in India and its share in foreign investment inflows has more than doubled in the last decade. Today there are around 6000 European companies present in India and have generated more than 1.7 million direct and 5 million indirect jobs.
With the investments from India going up, it has translated into an active presence of the Indian companies in the EU as well.
And this is the right time for both countries to resume negotiations for a balanced trade agreement which would be a key driver for sustainable growth and jobs creation, in India and Europe.
On Saturday, in an open article published in Politico.eu, both Prime Minister Modi and his Portugal counterpart Antonio Costa, have said about the FTA negotiations, “The negotiation of an EU wide investment protection framework would offer greater stability and certainty to companies from India and EU to expand their presence in each other’s markets.”
At the end of the meeting the two sides concluded a comprehensive Connectivity Partnership and confirmed their commitment to collaborate on supporting resilient and sustainable connectivity in India and in third countries and regions which include Africa, Central Asia and the Indo-Pacific.
Terming the Connectivity Partnership as a beginning of the new chapter in the relations, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “This will guide our actions over the coming years, providing for joint efforts in creating a greener, more inclusive and prosperous future for the EU, India, and in regions around the world.”
According to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, “There are rival models for development, infrastructure, trade and governance. And the EU is the most integrated region in the world.”
“India shares our vision, and that we are looking forward to working together not just in our respective countries. And to help shape the world of tomorrow.”
The EU-India Connectivity Partnership
This is the second such partnership between the two sides, the first was signed in 2019. These bilateral partnerships help in forming an integral part of the EU’s strategy to connect the region with Asia.
More about Connectivity
This covers cooperation in the energy, digital, transport and people to people sectors.
Is in support for the twin digital and green transitions, shared norms and values of social, environmental, economic and fiscal sustainability and providing level playing field. Also, adherence to and development of international standards.
Aims at pooling resources, norms and expertise to serve the needs for the next generation of sustainable and quality infrastructure.
Joint work on standards and the regulatory environment.
Work on concrete infrastructure projects.
This Partnership will also provide a platform to build on the many already ongoing projects between EU and Indian public and private actors.
And it also proposes new activities in all sectors.
To bring together the EU institutions, member states as well as the European Financial Institutions, under a joint framework, Team Europe approach will be used.
A comprehensive approach
Environment is a particular priority, therefore in the energy sector, work will focus on the implementation of the EU – India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership. And with the regulatory support complementing public and private activities on floating solar, offshore wind and energy storage, other projects.
Digital: To ensure protection of personal data and privacy, to ensure safe and secure cross border data flows. Focus will be on digital connectivity through submarine cables and satellite networks and also promoting fast and efficient 5G on the basis of global standards.
Plans to have EU-India Aviation Summit with focus on new air routes, maritime industry, dialogues on smart and sustainable mobility, and new investments in metros.
There are proposals to be considered related to standardisation and certifications, decarbonisation and digitalization.
Develop breakthrough innovations, scale up the latest scientific discoveries, including through enhanced opportunities under the Erasmus+ programme. Also to work under Horizon Europe, and linkages with the Global Initiative for Academic Network (GIAN) and the Scheme for Promotion of Academic Research and Collaboration (SPARC).
According to the EU, the partnership will seek to create favorable conditions for increased investments in connectivity projects by the private sector, and by fostering a competitive global ecosystem. The
Create level playing fields reflecting commitment to international standards and reciprocal access to markets.
Help in promoting new financing options and at the regulatory level, this will also include engagement under the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF).
Joint commitment to develop EU-India cooperation in the international regulation of government support for export finance.
To promote cooperation between businesses, national development and promotional banks/funds, chambers of commerce, and export finance agencies.