The relationship of India with Europe is continuously changing and transforming for the better

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit France and attend the India-EU summit in Portugal in May. The Prime Minister’s visit to Europe is expected to mark the dawn of a whole new era of India's relationship with the European Union.

The upcoming visit is likely to see technical negotiations on the broad-based trade and investment agreement, which is also being pursued by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at a diplomatic level.

There is a possibility of a meeting between Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and EU Executive Vice President and Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis later this month.

The relationship of India with Europe is continuously changing and transforming for the better.

Last year, India had held the highest number of bilateral summits with countries from Europe.

The 15th Summit between India and the European Union (EU) was held in a virtual format on July 15, 2020. The Summit laid foundation for a deeper and more strategic cooperation between the European Union and India in times to come.

Both the EU and India had agreed to deepen cooperation in areas like climate change, maritime security, digital economy, connectivity, research and innovation, water and climate action, and civil nuclear cooperation.

Meanwhile, the post-Covid world has thrown many challenges at the global economy. However, it has also opened the doors for India and the EU to collaborate for the better.

According to PM Modi, India’s new rulebook of Atmanirbhar Bharat, which has acquired prominence during the pandemic, can be advantageous for the EU as it can move its supply chain from China to India.

Indian corporates are doing exceedingly well in Europe. EU is India’s largest trading partner besides being the largest investor in India.

India, however, represented only 2% of the EU’s external trade, much below China (13.8%), indicating a tremendous untapped potential for the future of India-EU trade and investment.

Given the increasing high level engagements between India and Europe, there is a possibility that in the near future, both sides will open doors to a whole new era of the relationship.

We can also expect the EU to promote the Indo-Pacific strategy to safeguard its interests in the region and also to be a strategic partner for its allies in Asia.