PM Modi in Brussels: India, Belgium envisage to bolster India-EU economic partnership
India and Belgium on Thursday expressed their commitment to enhance the EU-India economic partnership with new strategic initiatives which could create new economic opportunities and enhance close cooperation between businesses and people of the two sides.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was earlier in Brussels to participate in the 13th India-EU Summit, held meetings with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and discussed issues and opportunities of mutual interest.
“The leaders welcomed that both sides have re-engaged in discussions with a view to considering how to further the EU-India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) negotiations,” said an India-EU joint statement.
The EU continues to be India’s leading trade and investment partner as well as biggest export destination, with Belgium being the country’s second largest trade partner within the EU bloc.
Earlier, the European Investment Bank (EIB) had committed to assist the long-term investment in India’s infrastructure sector, particularly those crucial for the economic and social development of the country.
On a similar note, the EIB on Wednesday signed an agreement with the Indian government to lend €450 million (about Rs.3,300 crore), to be used for constructing 23-km long Lucknow Metro rail corridor and purchasing a fleet of new trains. The announced loan will cover half of the entire project cost.
The world’s largest international public bank will release the total amount in two trenches – the first tranche of €200 million during Modi’s visit to Brussels and the remaining during the course of project construction.
The EIB has also said it would launch its South Asia’s regional establishment in New Delhi.
“They welcomed a total loan of €450 million as a participation in the construction of the first metro line in the city of Lucknow, with the signature by the EIB and the government of India of a first tranche of €200 Million,” the statement said.
Underlining that a favourable trade and business environment is key to stimulating EU-India trade relations, the European Union leaders assured India of supporting its Make in India and Digital India initiatives. They also welcomed India’s decision to establish a framework to facilitate investments from EU member countries in India.
They leaders also envisaged to enhance the current EU-India dialogues across various key sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, food and feed safety, pharmaceuticals and trade & industry issues.
March 31, 2016 | 03:45pm IST