The President of the European Commission will visit India next week; The Ukrainian crisis on the agenda | Latest India News

NEW DELHI: The Ukrainian crisis, defense cooperation, the fight against climate change and the proposals for bilateral trade and investment agreements will be on the agenda of the inaugural visit of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in India next week, the European Union (EU) said in a statement on Tuesday.

Von der Leyen will meet President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit beginning April 24. She will also be the main guest at the Raisina Dialogue, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ first annual conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics. .

The broad economic agenda, focusing on free trade agreements, investment protection and geographical indications, will be on the agenda of his visit, the European Union (EU) said in a statement on Tuesday. “Russia’s war against Ukraine will also feature in the discussions,” the statement added.

Other issues that will be at the center of Von der Leyen’s conversations in New Delhi include tackling climate change and biodiversity loss, energy and digital transition, connectivity, security and defence, and cooperation in the world. ‘Indo-Pacific, according to the statement.

Von der Leyen will open the Raisina Dialogue 2022 with his keynote address during the inaugural session on April 25. She will highlight the potential of the EU-India strategic partnership and offer the EU’s perspective on current geopolitical challenges in her speech.

The visit will be an opportunity to review progress and intensify the multifaceted partnership with the EU, the foreign ministry said. India and the EU share a vibrant strategic partnership which has seen “strong growth with broader and deeper cooperation in policy and strategy, trade and commerce, climate and sustainability, digital and technology”, it said. -he adds.

This will be Von der Leyen’s first visit to India since taking over the office of the European Commission in December 2019. She participated in the virtual India-EU summits in 2020 and 2021, which resulted in several milestones to give more weight to the bilateral partnership.

The 2020 summit saw the adoption of a five-year roadmap for the strategic partnership between India and the EU, and leaders from both sides agreed at last year’s summit to resume talks on free trade agreements that were interrupted in 2013 and to start negotiations on investment and geographical indications agreements. The two parties also launched a new connectivity partnership.

During BVR Trade Secretary Subrahmanyam’s visit to Brussels earlier this month, India and the EU agreed to create basic frameworks to negotiate a comprehensive deal to boost bilateral trade to over $220 billion. in five years.

Over the past decade, trade in goods between India and the EU has grown by 41% and trade in services by 76%. Bilateral trade in goods and services in 2020 amounted to 96 billion euros.

The EU is one of the largest investors in India, accounting for 16% of total investments received during the period 2015-2020. Investments from 2000 to 2021 amounted to 83 billion euros. 4,500 European companies operate in India, contributing to the creation of more than 1.5 million direct jobs and 5 million indirect jobs.

During her visit, Von der Leyen will visit the campus of the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) known as TERI Gram, where she will interact with young people on the challenge of climate change and the need to working together for a green, digital and resilient future. She will also speak at the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and discuss supply chain security in the energy sector with Indian and European companies.


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    Rezaul H Laskar is Foreign Affairs Editor at the Hindustan Times. His interests include cinema and music.
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