New Delhi, 24 July 2019: The Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to India, H.E. Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, and Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, announced the launch of the European Economic Group (EEG) - a working group positioned as the single European business voice in India aimed at enhancing Europe India business cooperation.
The Ambassador of the EU to India, H.E. Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, in his keynote address underlined the commitment of the European Union towards enhancing trade and investment into the Indian market. “The EEG launched today brings together the EBG Federation, European bilateral chambers, European business member organisations and trade delegates of the EU and key European countries. It presents suggestions and solutions that can contribute to making the business environment more conducive, whilst strengthening EU-India business cooperation through the consolidation of European businesses and their economic engagement with the Indian market.”
The Chief Guest for the launch event, Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in his keynote stated that, “The European Economic Group as the single European business voice in India can give impetus to trade and investments into India and help in better sharing of knowledge, technology and best practices between Indian and European counterparts.” Referring to the India-EU Water Partnership (IEWP) that was signed in 2016, he stressed that the water sector is an important catalyst for increased EU-India business ties and remarked, “We welcome active participation from EU companies having the technical know-how to contribute to the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of water management in India.”
In his special address, Additional Secretary and DC, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), Mr. Ram Mohan Mishra, IAS, highlighted the vision of the Ministry and said, “Increasing EU-India business cooperation, especially in the SME sector through forward thinking policy-frameworks and exchange of best practices is an important element of the government's policy”. The Ministry welcomed relevant inputs from the European Economic Group for SMEs-related challenges to enhance more collaboration opportunities for SMEs in India.
The Chairman of EBG Federation, Mr. Raman Sidhu who has been nominated as the first spokesperson for the EEG in his opening remarks reiterated that, “The group will interact with relevant government stakeholders in India and provide insights on a favorable business ecosystem whilst facilitating knowledge sharing in areas of mutual interest."
“EEG will contribute across sectors with a focus on SMEs”, explained Mr. Poul V. Jensen, the Team Leader of the EU Project ‘Business Support to the EU-India Policy Dialogues’ and Director of the European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC), which is the Secretariat of the EEG.
About the European Economic Group (EEG): The EEG aims to enhance business cooperation between Europe and India. It is a first of its kind working group that serves as a synergizing channel addressing critical points of interventions to support European businesses in India. The independent working group EEG brings together leaders and representatives of European membership-based business and industry bodies including the EBG Federation and European bilateral chambers in India. EEG will also consolidate insights from other chambers and sectoral associations from Europe. The working group will have a sub-group focusing on market access of SMEs to give impetus to Europe India business collaborations.
About the European Union (EU): The EU, which consists of 28 countries, has the world's largest economy and third largest population, after China and India. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its 'Member States') are committed to the same basic values: peace, democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. They have set up common institutions that take decisions on matters of joint interest at the European level. Creating a frontier-free single market and a single currency (the euro, adopted by 19 Member States), the EU has given a significant boost to trade, employment and people-to-people contacts.
EU-India relations: For over 57 years the EU and India have worked together to reduce poverty, prevent disasters, expand trade, promote joint research in energy, health, agriculture and cooperate many other fields of mutual interest including global and security issues. The EU is India’s first partner in terms of trade and actual investment inflows. Bilateral trade in goods and services amounts to €125 billion and 6000 EU companies account for almost 7 million jobs in India. The EU published a new Strategy on India in November 2018 which aims to further strengthen the Strategic Partnership in the areas of Sustainable Modernisation, Climate Change, Trade and Investment, Research and Innovation, and joint responses to regional, global and security issues.
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