Honourable Minister addressed the European Economic Group
Shri. Nitin Gadkari, Honourable Minister of MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) and Road Transport & Highways, Government of India, presided over the first edition of the European Economic Group (EEG) Lecture Series: ‘Governance through Dialogue’.
The session marked the first year of successful operations of the European Economic Group (EEG), which has been established as the single European business voice in India.
While addressing representatives of the European Embassies and Missions to India, Heads of European bilateral chambers of commerce as well as business support organisations and leaders of Indian and European industry associations and business, the Minister stressed that the investment into India is a golden opportunity for European businesses in the backdrop of India’s green vision for economic growth in particular with regard to alternate fuels, electric mobility, infrastructure, manufacturing and blue economy sectors. Inviting European companies to invest in India, he highlighted India’s skilled talent, huge market, improved ease of doing business and support from the Government and his ministries.
The Minister spoke about the steps India has taken to create sustainable jobs and the advancements towards Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), organic farming and biofuels.
The Minister further announced the initiation of a Social Micro Finance Corporation to furnish micro-loans of up to INR 1 million (approximately EUR 12, 000) as a catalyst to spur the MSME industry in India.
The EEG spokesperson, Mr. Raman Sidhu, welcomed the insightful and encouraging words from Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister on the Indian Government’s current plans and its planned vision for the future, wherein European corporates and SMEs should play an important role.
Mr. Raimund Magis, Charge d’affaires, European Union Delegation to India congratulated the European Economic Group on its first anniversary and underscored that “the current crisis made it clear that collaboration, both globally and bilaterally between the EU and India, and500
between European and Indian businesses, researchers, financers, is even more important than ever before.” He emphasized the crucial role of businesses in addressing the global, national and local challenges. When referring to the trade and investment ties during the recently held 15th EU-India summit, Mr. Magis said, “Leaders from both sides agreed to establish a High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on trade and investment which will be an important platform to address all related issues and to unleash the full potential of our economic partnership, particularly in the context of post-COVID-19 economic recovery and support sustainable growth and jobs on both side.”
Mr. Poul V. Jensen, representing the EEG Secretariat and Managing Director, European Business and Technology Centre, reiterated that the EEG is forming an important part of the collaboration ecosystem between Europe and India and bridging the field between the private and public sectors and will take up the Minister’s invitation to engage in dialogue on new technologies and pilot projects.
The European Economic Group (EEG), has seen a lot of traction since its inception. It has so far been able to focus on priority sectors and more recently on the post COVID-19 scenario for European businesses in India. The EEG is mentioned in the EU-India Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025 in view of assuring a coherent voice of European businesses in India and thereby boost economic relations.
EEG: Single European Business Voice in India
- The European Economic Group (EEG) aims at enhancing the cooperation between Europe and India by being the single European business voice in India to highlight the strategic areas of required policy interventions and insights critical for enhancing the business cooperation between Europe and India across sectors.
- The working group also has a sub-group focusing on market access of SMEs to give impetus to Europe India business collaborations.
- EEG together with support and participation from its stakeholders like the Bilateral Chambers of Industry, European Associations, Counsellors of European Embassies in India, the EBG Federation, and the European Business and Technology Centre (Secretariat for EEG), facilitates a more synchronised ecosystem and paves the way for a conducive business environment.
- EEG was launched on 24th of July 2019. The completion of the EEG’s first year of successful operations is marked by the announcement of an annual EEG Lecture Series on the theme of ‘Governance through Dialogues’
The EU and India are both severely hit by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. At the summit, it was made clear that both the EU and India are working on a coordinated response to deal with the economic consequences of the crisis.
The EU and India are natural partners. The EU, with its 27 Member States, is India’s primary trading partner in goods and services crossing over €100 billion in 2020. The EU also accounted for 22% of total FDI inflows into India in FY2019-20 with US$73 billion of cumulative FDI inflows (April 2000-March 2020). In a post COVID-19 scenario, the EU and India are committed to work towards a balanced, ambitious and mutually beneficial trade and investment agreements, opening markets and creating a level playing field on both sides. A High-Level Dialogue will be established at ministerial level to provide guidance to establish bilateral trade and investment relations and to address multilateral issues of mutual interest.
- EU-India Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025: https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/eu-india_strategic_partnership_a_roadmap_to_2025_0.pdf
- Joint Statement: 15th EU-India Summit, 15th July 2020: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/de/press/press-releases/2020/07/15/joint-statement-15th-eu-india-summit-15-july-2020/
- EU-India Trade and Investment: https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/trade.pdf
- Launch of EEG July 2019: https://euindiabusinesssupport.eu/pressrelease/eu-india-business-cooperation-strengthened-with-the-launch-of-the-european-economic-group/
- Business Support to the EU-India Policy Dialogues Project: https://euindiabusinesssupport.eu/
- EEG Secretariat
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