Economy

India-EU Summit pushes cooperation in civil nuclear R&D, trade, security, cyber space

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 15, 2020

PM Modi says India-EU partnership significant for peace and stability of the world

India and the EU formalised the long-negotiated civil nuclear agreement on research and development cooperation in use of atomic energy and launched a number of initiatives in maritime security, trade and investment, law enforcement, energy, cyber space and artificial intelligence at the 15th India-EU Summit on Wednesday.

European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who represented the EU, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represented India, also agreed to establish a regular High Level Dialogue at the ministerial level to provide guidance to the bilateral trade and investment relations and to address multilateral issues of mutual interest.

 

“The High Level Dialogue will aim at fostering progress on the trade and investment agreements, addressing trade irritants and improving conditions for traders and investors on both sides as well as discuss supply chain linkages,” according to the joint statement issued after the summit concluded.

India and the EU are natural partners, Modi said at the summit. “Our partnership is significant for the peace and stability of the world. This reality has become even more clear in the global situation today,” he stated.

The EU is India’s largest trading partner with annual bilateral trade in goods at $100 billion and cumulative investment flows from the 27-member bloc at over $90 billion.

No word on trade deal

Interestingly, the joint statement doesn’t mention a re-start of the negotiations of India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement, as the EU believes that the existing differences over key market access issues are too large to be easily bridged.

Sharing details of the civil nuclear agreement, Ministry of External Affiars Secretary (West), Vikas Swarup explained that the agreement on R&D cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy will enable cooperation between the Department of Atomic Energy and European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM). Cooperation will be forged on issues such as civil application of nuclear energy in areas such as agriculture, health care and industry, radio active waste management, fusion, safety and security.

India and the EU also decided to upgrade their dialogue and cooperation on technology. “They will engage on 5G and artificial intelligence including to promote global standards and to foster their safe and ethical deployment,” the statement pointed out.

The leaders adopted the ‘India-EU Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025’ to guide cooperation between India and the EU over the next five years in key areas.

They welcomed the ongoing activity in India of the European Investment Bank and the upcoming planned investments of €550 million in the Pune and Bhopal Metro Rail Projects, according to the statement.

Published on July 15, 2020

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