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India-EU summit today likely to see political talks on trade, investment

The dialogue will be set up between Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Published: July 15, 2020 6:13:54 am
PM Narendra Modi to co-chair meet.

India and the European Union (EU) are likely to announce a high-level political dialogue on trade and investments with a view to resume the negotiations on the long-pending Bilateral Trade and Investment agreement at the India-EU summit on Wednesday, EU sources said on Tuesday.

The leaders are also likely to discuss China’s role in the global order.

The dialogue will be set up between Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan.

Besides this, the two sides will also unveil a joint road map to 2025, as they make their ambitious projections to the next five-year time-frame in the current challenging circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The two sides will also announce a new maritime security dialogue, since the EU has been quite active in the Indian Ocean region and had displayed considerable amount of skill and capacity while combating piracy in the western Indian Ocean region. Sources said the two sides will decide to push for stronger defence and security cooperation, and one of them will be to launch negotiations for a pact between CBI and Europol.

These will be among the key expected takeaways from the India-EU summit, which will be co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and European Council president Charles Michel and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.

EU sources said they would like to have a “comprehensive” trade agreement, instead of an “early harvest” trade deal. But they are also reminded of India’s “protectionist tendencies”, with the Make in India programme and the “self-reliant” (atmanirbhar) India campaign.

On contemporary global issues of interest, India and the EU will discuss China, besides relations with the US and Russia, sources said. Both sides have “intense” relations with China, and the EU has received detailed information from both sides on what’s happening at the LAC in Ladakh.

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