India Intelligence Report



   7th Indo-EU Summit

  Inaugurating the 7th Indo-EU summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh emphasized that the “Consolidation of strategic partnership and intensification of dialogue with the European Union” is a key foreign policy priority for India.


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Inaugurating the 7th Indo-EU summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh emphasized that the “Consolidation of strategic partnership and intensification of dialogue with the European Union” is a key foreign policy priority for India . Appreciating the “forward movement in implementing the Joint Action Plan adopted by the last Summit in New Delhi in September last year,” Singh said India was also happy about the “launching of negotiations for a broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement.” This decision was proposed by a “report of the High Level Trade Group” and India expects, as “envisaged by the Report,” that negotiation would complete within 2 years and cover “90% of tariff lines and trade volume.”

India and the EU have both acknowledged the need for “a new multi-polar world order” and want to play an active role in this new set up because they have “the will and the capability to make meaningful contributions.” Both wanted an “international order based on well defined rules and effective institutions” and India wants clear “forward looking institutional arrangements to manage the global political order” just as “there are rules for managing growing economic inter-dependence.”

Singh wanted this new order to be “inclusive” and capable of facilitating “equitable sharing” of “economic and social developments” so “global problems of poverty, marginalization and inequality” are addressed. India does not want a division of the world along “religious or cultural lines” as they could affect the new order of “globalization.”

India and the EU are “natural partners” because of their “shared values of democracy and respect for human rights” and “commitment to pluralism and liberty” and both share a tradition of “multi culturalism” and are naturally empowered and help others as that would be the “inevitable consequence of globalization.”

Singh reiterated that the “Indian democracy, with high economic growth and inclusive governance” makes India a “unique partner for the EU” in a region spanning “ Gibraltar to the Malacca Straits.” Highlighting the inclusion of India in the Asia Europe Meeting, Singh said the lack of “integrated foreign and defense policy” with the EU will negatively impact “ India ’s global vision” just as “EU’s engagement with Asia ” would remain “incomplete without India .”

Specifically, India wants to work with the EU to address “key issues of globalization, terrorism, proliferation, energy and environment.” Seeking to highlight the development of India distinctively from China and other Asian nations, Singh said that the economic reforms of the 90s is seeing a billion people “seeking salvation within the framework of an open economy and an open society committed to fully respecting fundamental human freedoms and the rule of law.”

Appreciating EU’s role as the “largest trading partner and the second largest FDI sources” in this “explosion of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit,” Singh wanted further partnership from the EU to help India realize its “ambition to increase and sustain growth rates of 10% in the coming years.” India wants the EU to see it as a safe, secure and profitable trade and investment destination” and as a “hub for high technology R&D, manufacturing”, and services for the Indian, South East Asia , West Asia , and Central Asian markets. Unlike China which will have large ageing populations, India will continue to have a large “pool of quality scientific talent and a young skilled work force in the manufacturing and service sectors.”

For the EU to be able to “take advantage” of the manpower asset and the “inevitable requirement of globalization,” it must relax its “Restrictive visa regimes” while controlling “illegal immigration.” Similarly, India promised to “further liberalize FDI in areas such as Telecommunications and Retail; efforts to improve infrastructure; opening up our financial sector and relaxation of labor laws” but Singh did not specify a timeline by which these will happen. He also reminded the EU about the controversial “Special Economic Zones”

India also pitched for the EU’s support for Indian goals to achieve “energy security to provide for safe, secure, affordable and sustainable energy supplies” through “alternatives to our dependence on fossil fuels through non-polluting sources such as nuclear energy.” While UK , France , and Germany are supporting the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal in the NSG, Finland and other Scandinavian countries are opposed to this international initiative on ideological grounds. France has already promised to try influencing these nations to secure support for the deal. India was thankful for the opportunity provided in the recent NSG meeting in Vienna “to reiterate its firm commitment to non-proliferation objectives while working with like-minded countries in expanding cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.” India also firmly supported EU’s position on the North Korean tests saying that “further erosion of the non-proliferation regime is not in India ’s interests.”

Singh thanked the EU for supporting India ’s inclusion in “the ITER Project as a full partner country” and wanted similar support for “ India ’s membership of the Galileo Global Satellite Project” which seeks to forsake dependence on the US Navigation Signal Timing and Ranging Global Positioning System (NAVSTAR GPS) or the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS). The US GPS has been considered unreliable by many including the EU because of the American tendency to shut off access in times of crisis.

India also called for “Strengthening international cooperation” to fight terrorism as seen in Mumbai, London , Madrid , and Srinagar because it the “most serious threat to democratic, open and pluralistic countries.” Without naming Pakistan , Singh said that there should “An international norm of zero tolerance against terrorism” and that message will send the “right signal to those countries directly engaged in terrorism or which are allowing their territories to be used for terrorist purposes.