Policy Dialogues


India, with its large market and high growth rate, represents an important opportunity for EU companies and in particular EU SMEs. Currently, the EU is India’s largest trading partner and India is the EU’s 9th largest trading partner. The European Union is also the largest investor in India. Nonetheless, EU commercial organisations and enterprises, notably SMEs, experience various challenges when operating in India relating to market access, non-tariff barriers to trade and investment, lack of accurate information about the regulatory frameworks, as well as practical restrictions and obstacles pertaining to commercial establishment.

The EU and India are working in close collaboration to strengthen ongoing policy dialogues in key areas such as, Environment, Energy, Climate, ICT and Urbanisation. Relevant projects have been set up that allow for technology transfer, multilateral exchange of expertise, as well as concrete business opportunities for EU businesses.

The environment is an important topic in the EU-India Partnership. The Joint Action Plan from 2005 forms the backbone for enhancing cooperation on the environment and climate change. The EU-India Environment Forum and the EU-India Partnership on Clean Energy and Climate Change are two joint commitments aimed at protecting the environment and curbing climate change.

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With 1.2 billion people, India represents the fourth-largest economy and the six largest energy consumers in the world. The demand for power has increased by 6,5% for the 2017 fiscal year and it is estimated that India’s energy supply will need to double by 2020 and increase by three to four times by 2031-32 to meet the future need. Up to the challenge, the Indian government has committed to reduce its emission intensity of the GDP by 20-25% by 2020, compared to the 2005 level and also to switch towards green energy by targeting a 100 GW of solar energy capacity installed in the country by 2020. During the EU-India Summit in 2016 an India-EU Clean Energy and Climate Partnership was announced with the aim of reinforcing cooperation on implementation of the Paris Agreement by strengthening joint activities for deployment of climate friendly energy sources. Under the Clean Energy and Climate Partnership, the EU supports a wide range of initiatives for low carbon energy production, thereby contributing to the mitigation of the global climate change.

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India and the EU have engaged to strengthen links between their flagship initiatives Digital India and the Digital Single Market for Europe. Regular dialogue takes place within a Joint ICT Working Group, focusing on market access issues for companies on both sides, regulatory issues, ICT standardisation, Internet governance and research and innovation (including start-ups). These meetings are complemented by ICT Business Dialogues. Furthermore, a Cyber Security Dialogue focusses on exchanging best practices on addressing cybercrime and strengthening cyber resilience. The EU supports technical cooperation between the Indian and European telecom standardisation bodies  (TSDSI and ETSI) on future global standards for 5G, Intelligent Transport Systems / Internet of Things, future networks, and security issues.

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It is estimated that by the year 2050, the number of people living in Indian cities will touch 843 million. Rural to urban migration is intense, affecting 10 million people per year in India. Challenges faced by cities such as overcrowding, pollutions, social and technical constrains are substantial. Indian government has taken up the challenge by launching the AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) programme and more recently the 100 Smart Cities Mission, with the aim of improving services and developing public transport, sewerage, water supply and public green spaces. At the India-EU Summit in October 2017, the two sides agreed on a Joint Declaration on Partnership for Smart and Sustainable Urban Development which will contribute to Indian flagship programmes such as Swachh Bharat, the 100 Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT.

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