New EU envoy to India to strengthen strategic ties
Newly appointed European Union (EU) ambassador to India, Herve Delphin, presented his Letters of Credence to President Droupadi Murmu at an official ceremony of Rashtrapati Bhawan on Monday, stressing that the strategic partnership with India is one of the most significant relationships developed by the group globally.
"It is an honour for me to represent the EU in India and contribute to making EU-India a defining force for the world of today and tomorrow," Ambassador Delphin said on Monday.
He added that "boosting economic opportunities, ensuring resilient supply chains, promoting faster green and digital transitions will be the key focus of his efforts".
Noting that the EU and India, were, today, trusted partners and friends with strong bilateral cooperation, he said, "Over the years, our strategic ties have both broadened and deepened based on shared goals and interests--in trade, trusted technology, security, green and clean energy technologies, sustainability, security and defence, and more."
Stressing that he has an ambitious agenda to bring this partnership to a new level, he added, "My mission is to contribute to turning this into a reality for the mutual benefit of Europe, India, our companies and our people."
"Progress in the negotiations on a bilateral Free Trade Agreement and investment protection agreement, as well as geographical indications, is a crucial element to unlocking the full economic potential of the EU-India relationship," he said.
The EU is India's second-largest trading partner, accounting for EUR120 billion worth of trade in goods in 2022, or 10.8 per cent of total Indian trade.
India is the EU's 10th largest trading partner, accounting for 2 per cent of EU total trade in goods. Trade in services between the EU and India reached over EUR45 billion in 2022. Moreover, the EU as a whole is also one of the largest investors in India.
The EU is fully mobilised alongside India to develop connectivity infrastructure at the bilateral, regional and global levels as a catalyst for development, sustainable growth and diversification of supply chains and to facilitate improved access to goods, energy and data for citizens and businesses.
He further highlighted another general project that can bring economic opportunities -- the India-Middle-East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) recently signed by the EU, France, Germany, Italy, India, the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Notably, the EU and India have also taken significant steps in the past years to deepen their security and defence cooperation, including counter-terrorism, and cyber and maritime security.
"The Indo-Pacific at large and the Indian Ocean in particular are key areas where this cooperation can be brought to bear," he added.
Envoy Delphin also emphasised the strong mandate that he received from Brussels to unveil the full potential of the EU-India partnership.
"The EU and India have much to gain from each other. Together, we also have much to offer the world in order to address the global challenges of our time, be it geopolitical, climate change, environmental, or sustainable development," he said.
Delphin said the common democratic values and principles are the "fertile ground on which this relationship flourishes and we must continue to tend it".