The India-European Union summit to be held here on November 6 will focus on giving a thrust to concluding trade and investment pacts, enhancing cooperation in relation to climate change agenda and as well as discussing various other global issues, including economic revival in the face of financial crisis and terror.
The 10th Summit will seek to give a major boost to the ongoing negotiations between India and the EU over putting in place well-formulated trade and investment agreements, including the Free Trade Agreement that has been in negotiations since 2007. The negotiations between the two on FTA have been dragging due to strong differences over the EU’s bid to bring non-trade issues into the talks and India’s clear stand that such issues should not be allowed to derail trade talks.
The one-day summit will be preceded by an annual India-EU business conclave that will witness interaction between top business leaders, including CEOs of various companies, from the two sides to discuss issues on the global financial meltdown and ways to scale up two-way trade and investment. The two sides have already agreed to double bilateral trade to 100 billion euros in five years at Marseilles last year.
Daniele Smadja, Ambassador and head of the EU delegation in New Delhi, had stated that non-trade issues such as child labour and environment were key policy concerns that should be addressed within the framework of the FTA talks between India and the EU. India has termed it a ploy of the developed countries to undercut its competitiveness.
Both India and EU have held seven rounds of negotiations but not much headway has been made.
On the other hand, global warming and the U.N. Climate Change Summit at Copenhagen would also figure among the major talking points. The EU summit last week agreed that rich countries should give developing nations up to 50 billion euros a year by 2020 to help them fight climate change, but did not state how much the 27-nation bloc was willing to contribute.
The two sides are also likely to discuss global terrorism and the need for greater institutional linkages in combating terrorism. The sharp rise in terror incidents in Pakistan and the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan will also come up for discussion.