Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON
News: Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexEconomic EventsCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

EU and India agree to resume trade talks at virtual summit

05/08/2021 | 12:39pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union and India agreed to resume stalled free-trade negotiations and seek closer cooperation to combat climate change at a virtual summit on Saturday, as concerns about China bring Brussels and New Delhi closer.

Partly overshadowed by the COVID-19 crisis in India, the meeting brought together Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all of the bloc's 27 leaders for the first time in a sign of the EU's renewed interest in the Indo-Pacific region.

Past EU-India summits have involved only the Indian prime minister and the EU's chief executive and chairman.

"We agreed to resume negotiations for a ... trade agreement which would respond to the current challenges," EU and Indian leaders said in a statement after the talks, adding that for talks to succeed, both sides had to solve market access issues.

In parallel, EU and India will start talks on a separate investment protection deal and an accord on geographical indications - famous brand names often linked to the places they are made, from France's champagne to India's Darjeeling tea.

China's rise from a benign trading partner to a rival power with a growing military presence has alarmed the West and its allies in the Indo-Pacific, where Brussels wants more influence.

"We agreed that, as the world's two largest democracies, the EU and India have a common interest in ensuring security, prosperity and sustainable development in a multi-polar world," the joint statement said.

EU-India trade talks were frozen in 2013 over differences including tariff reductions, patent protection, data security and the right of Indian professionals to work in Europe.

COMPETITION WITH CHINA

The bloc's leaders, at an EU summit in Porto in Portugal, faced pressure over the Modi government's crackdown on dissent, with civil society groups including Amnesty International holding a candle vigil outside the summit venue.

"We reaffirmed our commitment to protecting and promoting all human rights, including gender equality and women's empowerment in all spheres of life," the statement said.

"We recognised the importance of strengthening the specific mechanisms for the promotion of human rights and the role of national human rights institutions, civil society actors and journalists," it said.

A 2020 study by the European Parliament put the benefits of a trade deal for the EU with India at up to 8.5 billion euros ($10.2 billion), although the estimate was made before Britain's departure from the bloc.

The EU and India also agreed to build joint infrastructure projects around the world, notably in Africa, to be described as a connectivity partnership.

The deal follows on from an accord between the EU and Japan in 2019, seeking an alternative to Chinese largesse known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that raised suspicion in the West and Tokyo.

Both sides pledged increased cooperation to limit climate change. The statement said the EU and India would hold meetings to collaborate in renewable energy, energy storage technology and modernising power grids.

(Additional reporting by Robin Emmott and Kate Abnett; Editing by William Maclean and Helen Popper)

By Robin Emmott and Jan Strupczewski


ę Reuters 2021
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
05:58pImf says has secured sufficient financing pledges to allow the fund to provide comprehensive debt relief to sudan. - statement
RE
05:53pExclusive-U.S. opens $500 million fund for relatives of Boeing 737 MAX victims
RE
05:50pFed chairman's testimony shows Biden's economic plan working -White House
RE
05:49pMexican utility CFE's $16 bln investment plan faces risks -Moody's
RE
05:49pMoody's says mexican state utility cfe's liquidity could be hurt more this year, since it will take 12 to 24 months to recover increase in costs through client tariffs after february texas winter storms
RE
05:49pFed will not raise rates on inflation fears alone, Powell says
RE
05:41pMoody's says mexican utility cfe's investment plan of 326.5 billion pesos thru 2026 faces financial and execution risks
RE
05:40pU.S. Fed bank stress tests pave way for stock buyback, dividend bonanza
RE
05:40pU.S. Fed bank stress tests pave way for stock buyback, dividend bonanza
RE
05:38pMoody's says lack of clear mexican government and cfe policies on renewable energy, emissions reductions could lead to reduced access to debt markets for cfe
RE
Latest news "Economy & Forex"