It was a pleasure to speak with Prime Minister Modi today. India is an indispensable partner.
Our meeting clearly shows the importance that both the EU and India attach to our relationship. As the world's two largest democracies, we share common values - freedom, rule of law, and respect for human rights. We have converging interests.
Today we focused on 3 important topics: Covid-19 and rebuilding our economic prosperity, our EU-India bilateral relationship and regional and security issues.
As power dynamics shift across the globe, the EU wants to play a stronger role in the region, and as a global actor. Today's substantive dialogue with India will reinforce these strategic goals.
The EU and India are banding together to fight COVID-19 and I welcome India’s role in tackling the virus, both at the regional and global level. And their contribution to the research and manufacturing of a vaccine, which should be available to all. We will cooperate to strengthen our health systems and ensure the WHO is effective.
We agree that the economic and social recovery must be more sustainable, more resilient and leave nobody behind. Keeping the global trading system open will play an important role. Efforts in the G20 and UN will also be vital. We welcome India’s support for debt relief as well.
Today’s meeting marked the 15th Summit between India and the European Union.
The EU is India's largest trade and investment partner. But India represents only about 2% of EU external trade. This is clearly an area that offers impressive potential for significant future growth. We agreed to enhance conditions for traders and investors.
We called for ambitious climate and environmental action. The EU is a partner of India's sustainable modernisation, including through investments by the European Investment Bank, over 4 billion euros. We will also work together to deploy digital technologies based on our shared values and global standards.
We have just signed the Euratom-India Agreement that boosts cooperation on research and development for peaceful nuclear energy. We welcome India’s proposal to build a connectivity partnership that is open, sustainable and rules-based.
The EU and India will further develop security and defence consultations and military contact. We will step up our cooperation to fight terrorism and cyber threats. Europol and its Indian counterpart will join forces to tackle organised crime. We will also work to reinforce maritime security, especially in the Indian Ocean, where 40% of our trade passes. And we will continue our dialogue on human rights.
India will serve on the UN Security Council in 2021-2022 and assume the Presidency of the G20 in 2022. The EU looks forward to working with India in these organisations, and others, to strengthen multilateralism and the rules-based international order. The EU and India are more than economic partners - we are political partners, committed to the peaceful resolution of conflicts, security and rule of law.
Today's meeting clearly showed that both the EU and India want a stronger strategic relationship for the future. The concrete commitments we made today reflect this strong and clear ambition. India can count on the European Union. And we count on India to be a key partner.