EU Summit Opens With Focus On Stalled Trade Talks

07 October, 2017, 00:57 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • Theresa May in India

On Friday 6 October, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, will represent the European Union at the 14 EU-India Summit in New Delhi.

Emphasising that bilateral trade between 28 nation bloc and India has huge potential for growth, he said, FTA or Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) will help achieve the true potential.

Earlier in the day, Joint Statement 14th India-EU Summit pointed out that the ongoing efforts of both sides to re- engage actively towards timely relaunching negotiations for a comprehensive and mutually beneficial India-EU BTIA. Even after Britain leaves the European Union in March 2019, the bloc will still be India's biggest trading partner, Juncker said.

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He said that the European Union has been india's largest trade partner for a long time.

The two sides also discussed the crisis involving more than 500,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing from violence in Myanmar, and called for a de-escalation of tensions and their voluntary return home in safety and dignity.

"India and the European Union underline the importance of the regional and key worldwide stakeholders to respect, support and promote a political process and its outcome in order to ensure peace, security and prosperity in Afghanistan", the joint statement said. "India was amongst the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the European Economic Community in 1962". He repeated this statement during the India-EU Business Forum, and added that there will be a bilateral meeting soon at the level of the trade ministers to tackle the issue of the impasse.

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"They agreed that DPRK's (Democratic People's Republic of Korea oir North Korea) continued pursuit of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and its proliferation links pose a grave threat to global peace and security, and called for the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, which has been endorsed by the UNSC and the Six-Party Talks", the joint statement said.

Juncker also informed reporters that the chief negotiators from the two sides will sit together in the coming days to chart the way forward and that they should step up work to ensure the free flow of data.

Talks on an EU-India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement - which seeks to improve market access for goods by eliminating tariff lines - began in 2007, but have stalled since 2013.

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External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted that Sushma Swaraj and Mogherini "held productive discussions".

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