The 5th round of Foreign and Security Policy Consultations between India and the European Union were held in New Delhi today.
The Indian side was led by Ruchi Ghanashyam, Secretary (West), while the EU side by Mr. Jean-Christophe Belliard, Deputy Secretary-General for Political Affairs, European External Action Service.
The two sides reviewed the entire gamut of India-EU Strategic Partnership and discussed ways to further deepen cooperation in political, economic and security areas.
Strongly condemning the recent terror attacks in Barcelona, India and the EU called for enhancing cooperation to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
They also discussed cyber security and maritime threats. The two sides exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest and reiterated their respective commitments to promoting and protecting a rules-based international order.
The two sides reviewed economic cooperation calling for greater investment and trade flows between India and the EU.
The EU is one of India’s largest trading partners with bilateral trade in goods standing at USD 85 billion in 2016.
The EU is also the largest destination for Indian exports and a key source of investment and cutting edge technologies.
India received around USD 80 billion FDI flows from Europe during 2000-16 constituting approximately 25% of the total FDI inflows into the country during the period.
Secretary [West] welcomed the establishment of European Investment Bank in India, stating that its investment especially in urban mobility and renewable energy projects would support India-EU collaboration in the Smart City sector.
She appreciated the ongoing participation of European Union and EU companies in Make In India, Digital India, Start-up India, Swachh Bharat and Namami Gange programmes and called for their deeper engagement in these flagship development priorities.
The European side highlighted the ongoing work in India-EU water partnership. Noting that over 50,000 Indian students were presently studying in various Universities in Europe, DSG Belliard expressed the EU’s desire to make its scholarship programmes such as ERAMUS even more popular in the country.
The talks also focussed on deepening collaborations in research and technology partnership.
Both sides concurred that the International Solar Alliance presented new opportunities to further strengthen India-EU clean energy and climate partnership.
The EU expressed its desire to support initiatives of ISA including through the European Investment Bank. They also expressed their interest to leverage the ISA platform in collaboration with India for developing renewable energy capacities in solar rich countries.
The comprehensive discussions, held in a cordial atmosphere, underscored the strong foundations of the India-EU Strategic Partnership. The bilateral engagement today laid the grounds for the forthcoming India-EU Summit to be held in India later in the year.