New Delhi: Welcoming Prime Minister Modi's decision to launch the EU-India Trade and Technology Council, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday praised India for being a 'powerhouse' in technology and termed its relationship with the country as one of the most important for the coming decade. This comes as PM Modi and the EU chief held bilateral talks in New Delhi on Monday, where they reviewed progress in the India-EU strategic partnership and agreed to deepen cooperation in areas of trade, climate, digital technology, and people-to-people ties.
"India is technologically a powerhouse, and in the trade sector, we need to unleash an enormous amount of untapped potential," von der Leyen said. "For the European Union, the partnership with India is one of our most important relationships for the coming decade and strengthening this partnership is a priority", she added.
Marking the 60th anniversary of the India-EU relationship and meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion, the EU chief said, "I am very happy to visit India and to see you again, Prime Minister. It is the 60th anniversary of relations between the EU and India." "Today, our relationship is more important than ever. We have so much in common," she added.
Touching upon the similarities between EU and India, the EU president praised New Delhi for supporting the rules-based international order. "We are vibrant democracies, we both support wholeheartedly the rules-based international order and we have both large economies, and we are both facing a challenging global landscape," she stated. Upon agreement on establishment of an EU-India Trade and Technology Council, she said, "I am pleased that today Prime Minister Modi and I have agreed to establish an EU-India Trade and Technology Council. The EU has only one TTC so far - with the US, and I think it is telling that we now establish the second one with India."
She also hinted at starting negotiations toward comprehensive trade and investment agreements. "I am also glad that we are starting negotiations towards comprehensive trade and investment agreements," she added. The EU chief also stressed the shared goal of the EU and India on climate change. On her visit to the International Solar Alliance, she said, "I spent an exciting day at the International Solar Alliance. Energy security is one of the most pressing topics for India as well as Europe. The EU will diversify away from fossil fuels and will invest heavily in clean renewable energy. Therefore, cooperation with India not only on solar but also on green hydrogen is critical."
EU President welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to launch the European Union-India Trade and Technology Council, the second such initiative for the 27-member bloc following the first one set up with the US. Notably, the EU chief and PM Modi agreed to launch the EU-India Trade and Technology Council at their meeting in New Delhi on Monday. The European Commission, in a press statement, said that this strategic coordination mechanism will allow both partners to tackle challenges at the nexus of trade, trusted technology, and security, and thus deepen cooperation in these fields between the EU and India.