Focusing on strengthening the two-way trade and investment, India and the European Union (EU) have decided to resume talks on a free trade agreement (FTA). The announcement was made at the 14th India-EU summit. Apart from strengthening the business ties, the two nations have also agreed to fight against terrorism. After the delegation-level talks, India and EU also signed three agreements — finance contract of Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase-2-Line R6 for 300 million Euros, of the total European Investment Bank (EIB) loan; European Commission and the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB). The two nations also inked a joint declaration between the interim secretariat of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the EIB.

During the press address, at 14th India-EU Summit, by European Council president Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker with Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “We agreed on fighting against terrorism together and increasing cooperation towards it. Both sides agreed to cooperate on global issues and work together on climate change.”

Our multi-dimensional relations and strategic partnership are of prime importance,” PM Narendra Modi said. He also added that relations between the two sides had been reinforced following the 13th India-EU Summit at Brussels last year.

While addressing, Indian Prime Minister Modi also hailed the country’s decision that the European Investment Bank would help member countries of the India-initiated ISA to implement solar energy projects. He also said that the EU continues to be India’s largest trading partner.

European Council president Donald Tusk also said that India and EU are two of the world’s largest democracies. He also said that the two nations are coming together to develop and enhance the ‘political dimension of the relationship’.

Stressing to end terrorism, Donald Tusk said, “We adopted a joint declaration on counter-terrorism to deal effectively with the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, terror financing and arms supply arms supply.” Extending a hand of friendship, Tusk added, “We agreed to cooperate in security in the Indian Ocean region and beyond.”

Bringing out the trade practices between the two countries, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that EU was India’s largest trading partner, accounting for 13% of India’s overall trade. He further added that it was time for a free trade agreement between two of the world’s largest democracies.

First Published | 7 October 2017 8:25 AM
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