In the face of geo-political developments, rising protectionism, global trade friction, slowing down of the global economy, can European Union afford to remain an “exclusive club” and still exert its power and influence in a changing world. This is where EU and India have an opportunity to embrace each other for a new world order. The European Union has become a club of slow growth laggard economies that are home to dynamic companies. Therein lies the seeds of a growing split between political leaders and the business elite, with serious implications for the future not just for Europe, but for the globalization itself. Europe seems to have become a continent of competitive multinational corporations and uncompetitive nations. Growing split between fast corporations and stagnant economies explains the mixed signals coming out of Europe’s powerhouses.
The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would deliver significant economic benefits and economic growth for European Union (EU) member states and India. Contrary to many who think the FTA is dead, the Brexit is the “hidden hand” which may help both EU and India striking a free trade deal not because it is the core issue but because of external and internal political factors which are influencing both. Negotiating a successful trade deal which will impact the lives of 1.8 billion people is a very complex and complicated exercise and therefore it requires a careful calibration of the difficult issues involved, and if this agreement is done it shall be the largest trade agreement EU or India has ever entered into with any country.
EICC White Paper on EU-India relations titled: “European Union and India: Dawn of a New Relationship in a Changing World” was launched against this background on the 7th May during the European Business Summit 2019 which took place in Brussels on 6-7 May in Egmont Palace. The White Paper was launched during the Business Leaders Lunch co-hosted by Tata Consultancy Services in the HALL OF MIRRORS. The paper goes deep into the emerging challenges and opportunities before the EU and India and the huge potentials that lie for enhancing trade and economic relations. The WP was later presented to European Business Summit and was received by Mr. Arnaud Thysen, Director General of the EBS. The WP can be accessed through the link: EICC White Paper on EU-India relations