Prime Minister Modi has canceled his visit to Portugal to participate in India-EU summit next month

In the backdrop of the Covid 19 situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a leadership summit with the European Union in a virtual format on May 8.

“In view of the COVID-19 situation, it has been decided, in consultation with the EU and Portuguese leadership, to hold the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting in a virtual format on 8 May 2021,” Ministry of External Affairs’ Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in response to media queries on India-EU leaders’ meeting in Porto in Portugal.

“The India-EU Leaders’ Meeting in the EU+27 format, the first time that such a meeting is being held, reflects the shared ambition of both sides to further deepen the Strategic Partnership,” the MEA Spokesperson said.

Prime Minister Modi was expected to visit Portugal next month to participate in the India-EU leaders meeting. It has been cancelled because of the surge in Covid-19 cases across the country.

The EU as a whole was India's largest trading partner in 2018. India's bilateral trade with the grouping in 2018-19 stood at $115.6 billion with exports valued at $57.17 billion and imports at $58.42 billion.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had earlier cancelled his scheduled visit to India on April 25 in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic sweeping the country over the past few weeks. He will hold a meeting with Prime Minister Modi in a virtual format later this month.