Trade and Investment Partnership Summit (TIPS) 2014 Looking East and linking West

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Trade and Investment Partnership Summit (TIPS) 2014 Looking East and linking West

Summary

“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have been travelling extensively across Asia to invigorate India’s “look East” policy but he is still interested in linking up with the West, including the European Union, “according to panellists speaking at a Friends of Europe discussion organised on the occasion of the Trade and Investment Partnership Summit 2014. Does the EU still count for India? asked Shada Islam, Director of Policy at Friends of Europe. ‘We want to see more substance in relations’ said Maria Castillo Fernandez of the European External Action Service (EEAS), noting that the changes of leadership in India and the EU are an opportunity for a reset in relations. Poonam Kumar, Chairperson at Mega Ace Consultancy, reminded everyone that a globalised India is a reality, and what affects Europe also affects India. This makes it the perfect time to push forward on EU-India interactions. Shishir Kumar Bajoria, Chairman of the IFGL Group, was also supportive of EU-India prospects.

““Look East” may be nothing new, but India is now ready to “link West” as the ‘perfect bridge between East and West’. Does this mean progress for an EU-India Free Trade Agreement?”

‘Don’t reduce EU-India relations to an FTA, it’s much more than that’ said Fernandez. Other panellists said they had strong expectations of a visit by Modi to Europe next year to revive relations, including the FTA discussions.

09.00 Registration of participants to the TIPS Summit

As he reinforces India’s influence felt across Asia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is injecting new momentum into India’s “look East” policy.  The Indian leader has travelled extensively across the region over the last six months, clinching business deals, attracting much-needed investments and building strategic alliances with key Asian nations. Japan, China and ASEAN have received special attention but Modi is also widening his outreach to include Australia.  India participates in both the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum, the region’s key security fora. Clearly hoping to benefit from Asia’s economic dynamism, India has signed a free trade agreement in goods with ASEAN and trade with both China and Japan is rising amid hopes that both countries will also step up their investments in India’s infrastructure. The policy seems to be paying off.  China has said it intends to invest $100 billion in India over the next five years while Japan has announced plans to invest $37 billion in the coming years. Greater engagement with immediate neighbours is also a priority although relations with Pakistan, India’s traditional adversary remain difficult. But behind the visits and the statements, is there substance behind the “look east” approach? Is India also “acting East” as promised by key ministers? Beyond trade, is India also ready and willing to address regional security concerns? What is the role of the Indian private sector in promoting India’s “pivot” to Asia? Does the re-energised “look East” policy leave any space for upgrading India’s relations with the European Union?  Can plans for an EU-India Free Trade Agreement be revived and if so, how can this be engineered?

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As he reinforces India’s influence felt across Asia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is injecting new momentum into India’s “look East” policy.

Schedule

Schedule

Policy Insight: Looking East and linking West
Expand Policy Insight: Looking East and linking West

As he reinforces India’s influence felt across Asia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is injecting new momentum into India’s “look East” policy.  The Indian leader has travelled extensively across the region over the last six months, clinching business deals, attracting much-needed investments and building strategic alliances with key Asian nations. Japan, China and ASEAN have received special attention but Modi is also widening his outreach to include Australia.  India participates in both the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum, the region’s key security fora. Clearly hoping to benefit from Asia’s economic dynamism, India has signed a free trade agreement in goods with ASEAN and trade with both China and Japan is rising amid hopes that both countries will also step up their investments in India’s infrastructure. The policy seems to be paying off.  China has said it intends to invest $100 billion in India over the next five years while Japan has announced plans to invest $37 billion in the coming years. Greater engagement with immediate neighbours is also a priority although relations with Pakistan, India’s traditional adversary remain difficult. But behind the visits and the statements, is there substance behind the “look east” approach? Is India also “acting East” as promised by key ministers? Beyond trade, is India also ready and willing to address regional security concerns? What is the role of the Indian private sector in promoting India’s “pivot” to Asia? Does the re-energised “look East” policy leave any space for upgrading India’s relations with the European Union?  Can plans for an EU-India Free Trade Agreement be revived and if so, how can this be engineered?

 

Speakers

Maria Castillo Fernandez

Head of Division, India, Nepal, Bhutan at the European External Action Service (EEAS)

Poonam Kumar

Chairperson at Mega Ace Consultancy

Shishir Kumar Bajoria

Chairman of the IFGL Group, India

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