EAM S Jaishankar highlights the profound and evolving relationship between India and Europe
Turning the focus sharply on the need to strengthen India-Europe relations, the Second Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) India Europe Business and Sustainability Conclave was held on February 20, 2024, drawing dignitaries and stakeholders from across continents. 
In his address, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke about the profound and evolving relationship between India and the European Union, and highlighted the importance for the EU to prepare for the India of the future.
Key Highlights and Insights
Fresh from the Munich Security Conference, EAM Jaishankar brought insights into the deepening ties paralleled with frequent high-level visits, signifying Europe's priority in India's foreign diplomacy.
He also reflected on the intensive engagement between India and Europe, evidenced by the numerous visits by heads of states and ministers, showcasing the mutual commitment to deepen bilateral relations.
"Prime Minister of India during his tenure has been 27 times to Europe, he's received 37 European Heads of Governments and States, I have visited Europe 29 times in my relatively shorter tenure as a Minister, and I have received 36 of my colleagues during this period," he pointed out. 
EAM Jaishankar’s address elaborated on six pivotal themes driving the world economy: production and consumption, connectivity and logistics, technology, demographics, values and comfort, and the importance of a cooperative framework.
On economic growth and trade, he said, “I think we were reminded by the earlier speakers about the importance of concluding a free trade agreement with the European Union, as also with EFTA, not just a free trade agreement with the EU, but also one relating to geographical indicators and to investment protection. And these agreements, these negotiations resumed after an eight-year gap between 2013 to resume in 2021”.
Referring to the steady growth in trade levels, he noted that by 2022, the trade was about 120 billion euros in terms of goods, while the services trade had been growing very robustly at about 30 percent. 
At the same time, he spoke of a more positive framework for trade and economic ties to accelerate. “But part of the reason why we need a much smoother interface between our economies is that it's important for the European Union to prepare for the India that is to come.
“And what is that India which is to come?” he asked as he went on to say that today, India has a GDP of about 3.75 trillion dollars, which would go up to 7.3 trillion dollars by the end of the decade.
“By the time we are into our 100th year of independence it is estimated at 30 trillion. And according to Goldman Sachs, by 2075, we would be at 52.5 trillion. So that's an arithmetical way of saying that India is going to be an increasingly significant economy, the second largest by 2075, but certainly the third largest by the end of this decade in national terms. And that is something which the European Union has to take into account,” EAM Jaishankar stated.
He also referred to the growth of India’s economy, from about 570 billion dollars in the last decade to nearly 1.18 trillion dollars in 2022, adding that this pace is only likely to increase in the coming years.
In this context, he spoke of the larger transformation occurring in India. According to EAM Jaishankar, this is reflected in making it easier to do business, in making it easier for living, in the infrastructure changes which are captured by the Gati Shakti initiative, in the digital changes which are driven by the digital delivery programmes, and the enormous talent pool whose quality and size is growing by the day.
The event, embodied by the theme “India – Europe partnership for a better sustainable future,” was organized in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. It aimed to further the dialogue on enhancing business relations and sustainability between India and Europe.