Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Nov 26, 2003
Industry & Economy
EU-India summit to focus on diplomatic, trade issues
New Delhi , Nov. 25
THE fourth European Union-India summitwould provide an opportunity for the two major global players with a shared commitment to democracy and multilateralism to exchange views on issues of international concern and dimension.
Stating this at a news conference here, the Italian Ambassador to India, Mr Benedetto Amari, said the summit would, besides focussing on diplomatic issues, also see conclusion of a Customs Cooperation Agreement, a discussion of India's possible participation in Galileo Project and the launch of negotiations on a Maritime Agreement. The summit is scheduled on November 29.
Mr Amari also welcomed the recent peace initiative by India towards Pakistan and hoped that the summit would also discuss the measures to further the peace process through negotiations between the principal countries.
Mr Amari said collective efforts to tackle the scourge of terrorism, strengthening and reforming the United Nations and restarting the stalled negotiations of the World Trade Organisation, after the fiasco in Cancun, would also be discussed during the summit.
He said that the Customs Cooperation Agreement would help develop more efficient and transparent customs procedures, besides providing for the exchange of information and mutual assistance in fighting customs fraud and irregularities.
He said India has committed to provide euro 300 million in its participation in the Galileo project.
Galileo is the first satellite positioning and navigation system specifically designed for civil purposes. It was jointly developed by the EU and European Space Agency and would be operational in 2008.
He said that as third countries could participate in the programme, India has expressed strong interest.
The new Head of European Commission Delegation in India, Mr Francisco da Camara Gomes, who was present at the press conference, said that the EU-India Summit would include in its declaration India's participation in the Galileo Project, though the technicalities would be discussed later.
On the Maritime Agreement, Mr Amari said the objective would be to improve the conditions for maritime operations between India and the EU to benefit the economy and trade by reducing shipping times and costs, enhancing efficiency in the transport sector and fostering stability for economic operators.
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