Launch Event of the “Business Support to EU-India Policy Dialogues” Project

Providing further impetus to trade and investment between European Union and India, Mrs Elżbieta Bieńkowska, EU Commissioner - Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission today launched 'Business Support to the EU-India Policy Dialogues’ Project in New Delhi. It was launched in the presence of Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog and other representatives from government and industry.   

The project aims at cementing the EU-India economic and business ties in key sectors where EU-India have an already well–advanced policy dialogue including environment, water, energy, ICT, urbanization, sustainable mobility, transport and logistics. While enabling access to European best practices and technologies, it will also facilitate joint development of green technologies and solutions through effective business collaborations. Considering SMEs are the backbone of both of our economies and critical for sustainable and affordable innovation, the focus of the project will be on this segment. The project will also work with the Indian governments and authorities to facilitate/ensure transparent, open, and predictable regulatory and business environment for European companies trading with or investing in India.

With over EUR 100 billion worth of bilateral trade in 2017, and investment stocks of over EUR 70 billion, the EU is not only India’s largest trading partner and one of India's main investors, but also an important strategic partner supporting sustainable modernization initiatives of India- a priority area for the EU as outlined in the recently adopted EU Strategy on India.

Launching the initiative, Commissioner Bieńkowska said, "The EU and India are two of the biggest economies in the world with a great degree of complementarity but also huge untapped potential. The European Union is a natural partner in supporting India's sustainable growth. I trust that the project we are launching today, by mobilizing our private sector in key areas like modernization, climate change, and trade & investment, will further strengthen our ever closer strategic partnership".

In his key note address, Mr. Amitabh Kant welcomed greater economic cooperation between the EU and India and stressed that this cooperation (launched today) will further add impetus to the longstanding ties between the two. He highlighted that the EU is a green & innovative technology hub! This project is a win-win for SMEs & entrepreneurs, & will lead to a number of effective collaborations.

This positive outlook on EU India trade relations and the bilateral business ecosystem was reiterated by Mr. Arnaldo Abruzzini who stated that “India is an important market for European businesses as it holds enormous potential for growth.”.” Mr. Abruzzini is the CEO of EUROCHAMBRES, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industries representing 20 million member enterprises. Also the Team Leader of the Project, Mr. Poul V. Jensen (Director, European Business and Technology Centre) emphasized: “The Project will work in close collaboration with EU Member States and bilateral chambers in India to provide focused and complementary support to business collaborations. Not only European SMEs will majorly benefit from this enhanced support ecosystem, but also Indian businesses and partners can explore partnerships with innovative technology businesses from Europe”.

As a tool for effective multilateralism and cooperation, a working group called the European Economic Group will be set up to strengthen the voice of European businesses in India in cooperation with European associations and bilateral chambers. The ‘Business Support to the EU-India Policy Dialogues’ Project will be implemented by EBTC (the European Business and Technology Centre) in a consortium with GFA Consulting Group (Germany) and EUROCHAMBRES (Brussels).

Background and Agenda

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