“India will be an important part of Europe's future, because Europe's future is tied to how it is engaged with the rest of the world,” said Dr Joāo Cravinho, Ambassador and Head of Delegation, European Union (EU) to India at the Europe Day celebrations held in Mumbai recently.
"When we see how the Europe is going to grow/develop in the next few years, India plays the backdrop. India is forecast to be the largest strong economy in the world over the next few years, and has to be an important part of the Europe's future," Dr Cravinho added,
The celebrations were organised by The Council of EU Chambers of Commerce in India, in association with the Delegation of European Union to India and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany. EU as an economic block represents 28-member countries in Europe. There was an air of relief palpable in the EU Day celebrations as the region is expected to turn to growth path in 2015, by posting 1.5% growth.
"The developments in India are throwing up tremendous challenges and opportunities. EU-India relations are going to be improving very strong further. European Union is the largest trade partner with India and 100s of European companies are doing business and investing here. We have put in place a framework for improving relations over the next few years," Dr Cravinho said.
Speaking at the celebrations, Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra said that the government had been pulling out all the stops for the industry to thrive and to attract foreign investment.
"Permits required to set up a company in the designated areas of Maharashtra have been brought down from 76 to 37 by now and will be further brought down to 25 by June 15," Fadnavis said, while explaining the steps taken by his government to improve ease in doing business and to ensure seamless ecosystem for business to develop in the state.
Fadnavis said that introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) would make whole country a single market practically, making it attractive for foreign direct investment. The forward looking policies of the state government will make it more attractive for European investors and make it a favourite destination for setting up industries.
Explaining the importance of India's FTA with Europe, Siebert said that Europe was an economic giant and is largest trade partner of India, and because the EU brings huge benefits to India in the form of FDI inflow, technology transfer and creation of more jobs in India."
Capt. Avinash Batra, President of the Council said that the recent visit by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has further reinforced bilateral ties. "Looking ahead, major pointers for enhancement of bilateral ties will include Make in India campaign, co-operation between two regions on skill development and education, and activity in several sectors, particularly in renewable and nuclear energy and defence production."
While proposing the vote of thanks, Dr Renu Shome, Director of the Council said that the Council will strive to promote the trade relations between both the regions and undertake many such activities which shall help its members to know about the latest happenings with regards to EU India Trade.