As the 14th annual summit between India and the European Union (EU) took place in New Delhi on 6 October 2017, the European think tank Bruegel published data to suggest positive growth in India-EU trade relations, but complacency between the UK and India.
Maria Demertzis and Alexander Roth of Bruegel comment, “The UK’s place in the relationship warrants special attention. EU-India trade has more than tripled since 2000, but UK-India trade is largely static. The shift is especially noticeable for EU exports to India, where the UK share has dropped from 29 percent to 10 percent.”
They continue, “As our numbers show, there has been a steady and substantial increase in EU27 trade (both exports and imports) with India. In fact, EU27-India trade has more than tripled since 2000. Exports from the EU27 to India have increased from €9.8bn to €33.8bn and imports from €10.1bn to €32.0bn.”
The Bruegel report authors say the UK has not, contrary a common perception, managed to capture much of this increase. In fact, the value of UK exports and imports (at least in euros) has been very stable throughout the whole period. In this respect, the EU27 block has increased in importance for India, whereas the position of the UK has remained the same.
The picture in terms of foreign direct investments is broadly the same: the EU27 is the bigger, and increasingly so, investor in India. The UK invests about one billion Euros per year, while the rest of the EU invests just over 16 billion.
Technology collaboration focus of the 14th annual India-EU summit
The recent annual summit was attended by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, with the EU represented by Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, and Mr. Jean Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission.
The leaders reviewed the wide-ranging cooperation under the India-EU Strategic Partnership. The EU leaders welcomed India’s efforts to promote economic and social development and expressed the EU’s continued interest in participating in India’s flagship initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Smart City’, ‘Clean India’, and ‘Startup India’.
Prime Minister Modi appreciated the ongoing participation by EU companies in the flagship initiatives and called for their deeper engagement in India’s developmental priorities. The EU side encouraged greater participation of Indian business organizations into the Enterprise Europe Network. The leaders noted the progress made on EU-India cooperation on resource efficiency and circular economy. Both sides agreed to enhanced cooperation and exchange of experience and best practices in the field of intellectual property rights (IPR) and public procurement.
The leaders welcomed the intensified technical cooperation between the Indian and European telecom standardisation bodies (TSDSI and ETSI), supported by the EU, and focusing on future global standards for 5G, intelligent transport systems, internet of things (IoT), future networks and telecom security. Both sides encouraged the stakeholders to broaden this cooperation, demonstrate concrete technological solutions, and strengthen links between ‘Digital India’ and ‘Digital Single Market for Europe’.
Both sides also noted positive exchanges on internet governance, on increasing the ease of doing business for ICT (information, communications and technology) companies on both sides, as well as meetings between the Indian and European startup ecosystems under a ‘Startup Europe India Network’.
They also agreed to scale-up cooperation under the renewed India-EU Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement in frontier areas of science and technology and in addressing current global challenges in particular in the areas of health, water and clean energy. They welcomed the agreement to launch a major joint flagship initiative of €30 million on water-related challenges reflecting the pressing need to cooperate on technological and scientific knowledge and management capacities to cope with increasing stress on water resources.
Both sides agreed to work towards reciprocal opening of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation ‘Horizon 2020’ and Indian programmes, and called for an intensified two-way mobility of researchers. To this extent, the two sides welcomed the conclusion of the implementing arrangement between the Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB) and the European Research Council (ERC).
India Technology Summit, London
Given the need for the UK to do more given its situation as the weaker partner in EU-India trade and needing to do more to encourage UK and India business opportunities, the Europe India Centre for Business and Industry is hosting the ‘India Technology Summit 2017’ in London. The ‘curated’ event is for technology companies working in the area of internet of things, artificial intelligence, big data, fintech, electronic systems, communications, cyber security and retail technology.
Taking place on the 14th November 2017 at the Houses of Parliament in London, the summit intends to promote future technology collaborations between India and UK/Europe. The summit is expected to attract technology experts, technology companies from UK/ Europe and India, policymakers from UK and India, British MPs and Members of House of Lords and other invited guests.
The India Technology Summit is being held during Global Entrepreneurship Week. In this context, Global Entrepreneurship week will also be marked during the summit whereby a few Indian entrepreneurs from various sectors will be invited to share ideas, inspire and advise delegates on how to start and grow their business in India. Details of the India Technology Summit can be found here.