India Muslims | 09/29/2007
New EU envoy for pushing trade pact with India
New Delhi : Ahead of the India-European Union (EU) summit on Nov 30, Daniele Smadja, the new envoy of the European Commission, Friday called for pushing negotiations on a broad-based trade and investment agreement between the two sides.
"I am particularly pleased to arrive in India at a time when the European Union’s relations with India are going from strength to strength," said Smadja.
She presented her Letter of Credence as the Ambassador - Head of Delegation of the European Commission in India, to President Pratibha Patil Wednesday.
"I am also looking forward to the negotiations for a broad-based trade and investment agreement with India," said Smadja, who was director in charge of multilateral relations and human rights at the European Commission’s external relations headquarters in Brussels before coming here.
"Exploring with the Indian government how we could update and upgrade our cooperation agreement on partnership and development will be one of my priorities as well," she said.
It’s the season of new faces in the key embassies of European countries in India. Britain’s new high commissioner Richard Stagg and French ambassador Jerome Bonnafont also presented their credentials to the Indian president Wednesday.
India and the EU are developing their strategic partnership through a joint action plan, which was adopted at the EU-India Summit held in New Delhi in 2005. The Helsinki Summit last year gave the go-ahead for starting negotiations for a bilateral trade and investment agreement.
India’s multi-faceted ties with the 27-nation European Union are growing. Bilateral trade between the EU and India is expected to be close to $60 billion. The EU accounts for the largest share of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow into India estimated at $3 billion last year.