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‘India’s Economic relations with Europe’ at the European...

"As part of the celebrations of the India week at the European Parliament, the Delegation for Relations with India at the European Parliament hosted a high level Conference on ‘India’s Economic relations with Europe’ on October 11, 2017. Pandit Satish Vyas and his group enthralled audiences with their scintillating performance on the santoor. A photo exhibition on India’s ancient art of shadow puppetry was also displayed. The press release is as follows:

"Time to give fresh impetus to relations with India”
“Let’s give fresh priority to strengthening relations with India”, was the call by Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP at the opening of a conference in Brussels on 11 October on Europe's economic relationship with India sponsored by Tata Limited and the think-tank New Direction.

Mr Van Orden, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with India, made it clear that they should talk about Europe in its broadest sense – not just the EU but Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and a United Kingdom in course of Brexit.

He paid tribute to the bold steps taken by the current government to accelerate economic growth in India and deal with many fundamental challenges. As the Indian Ambassador remarked, PM Modi has cut inflation, opened up to more foreign investment, and introduced radical changes to the tax system, spurring GDP growth rates often over 7% and enabling creation of 15 million new jobs in 3 years. All agreed that India is a land of enormous opportunity and businesses in Britain and other European countries have so much to offer.

EU negotiations on a trade deal with India were opened 10 years ago but have made little progress. Mr Van Orden said: "the Summit on 6 October in Delhi had many useful elements but on trade there was merely agreement to talk about talking about talking. Perhaps the agenda is too ambitious or a different approach is needed, on a sectoral basis perhaps.

He added: "Europe's relationship with India is significant not just in economic terms, but in wider strategic terms in security and defence as well. We have so much in common and such deep historical connections, particularly with the United Kingdom, but other European countries as well."

David Landsman, Director of “Tea to IT” conglomerate Tata stressed the importance of mutual access to markets and skilled personnel and the need to respond to change. He saw India as “a supplier, customer and partner” for Europe.

Commenting on Brexit in terms of his company’s global markets, JCB Director, Philip Bouverat, remarked that ”there was nothing to fear from tariffs – currency fluctuations have more impact”

Daniel Hannan MEP and David Campbell-Bannerman chaired the panels and spoke strongly in support of strong UK-India links"

Address: Embassy of India, 217, Chaussee de Vleurgat, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.

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