India-European Union relationship consequential for world also: EAM Jaishankar

India-European Union relationship

NEW DELHI: Describing the relationship between India and the European Union as “consequential for the world as well,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the EU is not only “our largest economic partner,” but the ties run “very deep, spanning many domains.”

Extending felications to EU’s Ambassador to India, Herve Delphin, Jaishankar said, “I think today the relationship between India and the European Union is not only consequential for each one of us but also for the world as well. The EU is our largest economic partner, but it is more than that.”

“It is an entity with which we have, really, a very deep relationship spanning many domains…not just in the relationship between New Delhi and Brussels but in the regional and sub-regional formats in which we engage each other and in a range of institutions that we both are members of and where we collaborate with each other. And of course, an important element of that is economic relationship,” Jaishankar said in his address at the Europe Day Celebrations here in New Delhi.

Notably, the External Affairs Minister was the chief guest at the event commemorating Europe Day, which is celebrated on May 9 every year to celebrate peace and unity in Europe.

Jaishankar said that it is the need of the hour to have more “resilient and reliable” supply chains.

He said, “A fact that we are one of, I think, your two partners for trade and technology council, that , in many ways underlines not just the present of our relationship and the importance as well.”

“When one looks at the challenges the world faces, the need for more resilient and reliable supply chains, the need for a stronger digital cooperation based on trust and transparency. The need, really in many ways, to risk the global economy, I think India and the European Union can both make contributions, but particularly can do so, by working with each other” the EAM added.

Recognising the contribution of the European Union to the India-Middle-East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), Jaishankar said, “We certainly attach importance to it and look forward to taking it forward.”

“Among the welcome developments for us in recent years has been the greater interest that the EU, and individual European states, have taken in the Indo-Pacific. Many countries, and the EU, as a whole, today have an approach to the Indo-Pacific that we welcome very sincerely,” he said.

Recalling the G20 Summit which took place under the chairmanship of India in September last year, he said, “We also see today a much more serious engagement in the domain of security; it is for us a great pleasure to welcome, from time to time, the defence presence of Europe in this part of the world. As a country that chaired the G20, we very much appreciated the value and contribution that the EU, and individual European states made to the G20.”

“We value very much the invitation extended to us in G7 proceedings from time to time,” the minister noted.

Meanwhile, lauding the mutual ties, European Union envoy Herve Delphin said India is the country that has “gained tremendous importance for the EU,” and the partnership will “deepen further.”

“In this turbulent environment, there is one country, and one relationship that has gained tremendous importance for the EU, and it is India,” Delphin said during his speech at the event.

In March this year, India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) signed a Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) with four European states- Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

EFTA has committed to promote investments to increase the stock of foreign direct investments by USD 100 billion in India in the next 15 years and to facilitate the generation of 1 million direct employment in India. (ANI)

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