What is the India-EU Trade and Technology Council?

More than 15 years and 16 rounds of talks later, India and the European Union finally decided to set up a joint Trade and Technology Council.

And it comes at a time when the EU and India are at odds over Russia’s attack on Ukraine. However, they agreed on other points that delayed the launch of the trading mechanism for years.

The deal was signed during the visit of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on April 25.

The importance of the deal can be gauged by the fact that the United States is the only other country to have a technical agreement with the EU similar to the one signed with India.

And for India, the decision to set up such a council will be the first with any of its partners. This strategic coordination mechanism will allow the two partners to address trade, trusted technology and security challenges and deepen cooperation in these areas. This trading mechanism will allow both sides to work on areas such as 5G, artificial intelligence, climate modeling and health-related technology.

The EU-27 is India’s third largest trading partner, accounting for goods worth €62.8 billion or 11.1% of total Indian trade in 2020, after China at 12% and the US at 11.7%. The EU is the second largest destination for Indian exports after the US (14% of the total).

Between 2007 and 2013, both sides held 16 formal rounds of talks for the FTA, but no agreement could be reached due to strong disagreements on several points.

They now agree that rapid shifts in the geopolitical environment are highlighting the need for a shared deep strategic engagement.

The Trade and Technology Council will provide the political guidance and structure necessary to implement policy decisions, coordinate technical work and report to the policy level to ensure implementation and follow-up on areas critical to the sustainable progress of European and Indian economies are important .

The Council will consist of working groups, led or co-led by the relevant departments, services or agencies, to translate policy decisions into results.

For example, the US and EU have established 10 such working groups, chaired by relevant US agencies and European Commission services.

These working groups focus, among other things, on technology standards, climate and green tech, secure supply chains, export controls and investment reviews.


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