India is negotiating a connectivity partnership with the EU which will connect people to people, trade, business, and technology in the coming times, said Sandeep Chakravorty, Joint Secretary (EW), Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday.
Joint Secretary Chakravorty made these remarks in the session of India- Europe and CIS Day: Strengthening Economic Relations - The Way Forward at the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry's International Week.
Chakravorty while highlighting the trade relations between India and Western Europe said that the EU is our largest trading partner and the second-largest destination for Indian Exports. India has the largest FDI inflows from the EU and even during the pandemic, investment flows between the nations continued to grow. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, India's engagement with Europe has gone up and will only intensify further in the coming times.
He informed that the EU is a strong economic partner to India and the Government of India is looking at the EU with encouragement and optimism.
Francois Delhaye, Ambassador, Royal Embassy of Belgium, India, while deliberating on the effect of the pandemic on the global economy and society, as a whole, along with the changing geopolitical landscape and bilateral ties mentioned that there are changes in the ways we produce, communicate and consume in every sector and industry.
He shared that Belgium is one of the top EU trading partners for India and one of the largest investors in India. The areas of focus for business opportunities include green economy, pharmaceutical, logistics, and infrastructure. He emphasized maximizing opportunities and minimizing risks in businesses, post the pandemic, between India and Belgium. Ensuring greater investment, security, multiple protection of intellectual property, and taking care of the existing trade tariffs will help us to unlock the full potential of our economic relations.
Milan Hovorka, Ambassador, Embassy of Czech Republic, India while lauding the efforts of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in exploring the ways forward to strengthen bilateral relations between India and Europe, mentioned that the pandemic is a wake-up call to reconcile the economy and change the world for the better. The pandemic has made us understand that global problems require global solutions based on solidarity and shared prosperity.
He emphasized that India and Europe should take lead in the areas of entrepreneurship, ease of doing business and sustainable business partnerships. Europe and India should be instrumental in ensuring a seamless flow of international trade between the two nation. Emphasis needs to be reinstalled in areas of climate change and environment protection; reestablishment of people-to-people contact and promote tourism amongst nations.
Asein Isaev, Ambassador, Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic, India gave an overview of Kyrgyzstan and highlighted potential areas of economic cooperation between the two countries which included green products, tourism, textile, and commodities.
Reuben Gauci, High Commissioner, Malta High Commission, India gave a background about the relationship shared between India and Malta, mentioned India was one of the first countries to recognize Malta as a state and India has a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He mentioned that these days when we hear about Pharmaceuticals, we usually think of India especially during the times of the pandemic.
Marjan Cencen, Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, India while giving an overview of the Slovenian economy mentioned that Slovenia is one of the green countries in Europe, giving sustainable and smart solutions to benefit the environment, business, and society. Both countries can focus on areas like automobile manufacturing, chemicals, pharmaceutical, electronic, ICT services, machinery and equipment, food processing and engineering, water, and waste management solutions. Both the countries can establish strong bilateral trade agreements to foster seamless trade exchange in the times to come.
Adam Burakowski, Ambassador, Embassy of Poland, India mentioned that India has become an important direction for economic policy and global dimension. India is one of the top countries for polish investors. Poland is a reliable partner in central Europe and there is an increase in bilateral trade which can be further expanded in the areas like fintech, cyber cities, drones, green technologies, Medtech and agritech, innovation, and research.
Jaideep Mazumdar, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Austria mentioned that this is the right time for India to plan and for compes in Europe to consider upping their engagement with India as by all estimates, the Indian economy will be the fastest-growing major economy in the world in the coming year. Hence, European industries must turn to India as a reliable alternative value chain and the new dimension opening are in the sectors of the digital economy, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. The mission of making in India, Digital India, Startup India, and Clean India is the opportunities that are waiting to be grasped and utilized.
Santosh Jha, Ambassador, Embassy of India, Belgium & Luxembourg & EU while deliberating the strong relationship shared between India and EU mentioned that Relation between the two nations has been a traditional one and has witnessed immense strength, the state level,as well as at the level of EU. There has been a proactive and intense dialogue between the nations. He mentioned that there have been working groups for various sectors which will significantly provide a boost in the trade and business ties between the nations.
Purrshottam Bhaggeria, Chair, International Affairs Committee for Europe & CIS, PHD Chamber in his theme address deliberated about the historic strength of India-Europe ties which share a common vision of world affairs and strong supporters of the multilateral system.
He mentioned that while India, Europe, and CIS are increasing their global footprints, they are also seen as regional leaders. EU is the anchor for the entire European continent, India for South Asia and CIS, a gateway to a common market full of potential in terms of economic structure, trade, and sharing the number of interests across a range of policy areas, including energy, climate change, environment; research and innovation, pharmaceuticals, biotechnologies, ICT, education and sustainable development.
The Indian Government seeing the huge untapped potential in the CIS region is initiating programs and schemes to develop close economic cooperation. There are good possibilities of investments and joint ventures, particularly for the MSMEs for both the countries and they should be focused to develop business linkages as they are the backbone for industrial development in any country. Both the countries should also promote tourism and engage in cultural exchanges like student exchange programs, holding art festivals, etc., adding to the existing friendship, said Purrshottam Bhaggeria.
Vikram Gera, Co-Chair, International Affairs Committee for Europe & CIS, PHD Chamber while delivering a formal vote of thanks to all the delegates and participants mentioned that today's session gave us an overview on economic relations between India, European & CIS countries, our deliberation on issues and challenges of doing business in both India and Europe have also been very stimulating and will help in fostering business developments in both the nations.
The session was moderated by Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary-General, PHD Chamber, and was attended by many industry stalwarts around the world.
( With inputs from ANI )
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