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"India at decisive turning point, has strength to shape new world order", says former Deputy NSA

Brussels: India is at a decisive turning point and has the strength to shape the new world order, former Deputy National Security Advisor, Pankaj Saran said on Monday.

Saran, who now heads India's Think Tank 'NatStrat' was speaking at the Think Tank Open Policy Dialogue organised by Europe India Chamber of Commerce and European Policy Center in Brussels on Monday, a press release by Europe India Chamber of Commerce stated.
"Amid global uncertainties, India has risen as a beacon of economic resilience becoming the world's fastest-growing economy and today it is brimming with confidence. India's success in lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty and transitioning to a green growth path within a democratic framework is by itself a public good" Pankaj Saran, said.

Speaking on India's success of the G20 Presidency, Saran said that "pulling off a consensus despite deep global fractures has resurrected the G20's credibility and has signalled India's transition from being a balancing world power to a leading power".

The structure of EU-India relations in the background of international political, security and economic institutions, needs to be reviewed from the perspective of today's realities and future needs, and working together they can contribute to the global good and the shaping of an inclusive, secure and just world order, Saran observed while participating the Policy Dialogue.

He further affirmed that the India-EU relationship has tremendous potential and if the two nations work together, they can advance prosperity, security, and sustainable development for themselves and others around the world.

The former Deputy NSA asserted that "digital transformation in India is supercharging the Indian economy", and the country has developed a world-class digital public infrastructure (DPI) to support its sustainable development goals with its journey is having lessons for other countries embarking on their own digital transformation, the release further stated.
"Today, we hosted an in-person high-level Policy Dialogue, in collaboration with the Europe India Chamber of Commerce #EICC, to discuss the state of EU-India relations.

India's Ambassador to EU, Belgium, and Luxembourg, Santosh Jha said, "EU and India share a wide range of enduring long-term interests, economic prosperity; a future in which clean energy use becomes the norm; a secure, rules-based, and stable Indo-Pacific region; a world in which democracy flourishes; and a reciprocal goodwill between the people of both countries".

Ambassador Jha also observed that the absence of any significant "give and take" for both the EU and India will only hurt their interests in the long term, and therefore it is time to implement some innovative ideas so that they can ink the free trade deal.

Ravi K Mehrotra, the Chairman of the Europe India Chamber of Commerce said, "We believe that the FTA between India and Europe will be one of the most important pillars of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor".

Dominic Boucsein, the Head of Trade for the European Chamber of Commerce and Industry, stated, "European businesses have been interested in India well before any talk of derisking or diversification. Whilst numbers are growing, the share of traded goods with India is still low. There's plenty of potential".
Amaia Sanchez Cacicedo, a Non-Resident Associate Analyst at the EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), said, "India has become a counterbalance to an increasingly assertive , both in the region and the larger Indo-Pacific area. India has positioned itself among like-minded partners while also aiming for 'Global South' leadership".

Garima Mohan, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund's Indo-Pacific Programme, said, "The India-EU relationship shouldn't be evaluated solely on the outcome of FTA negotiations. The Trade and Technology Council is also key, as all main issues, from security to trade, intersect with technology".
Christophe Kiener, EU Chief Negotiator for the FTA with India, of the European Commission said that India has recently increased the scale of its engagement with FTAS with several developed countries and negotiation with the EU is progressing well.

Kiener also expressed hope that the EU and India shall be able to strike an agreement before both head to the polls in 2024. He however accepted that political influence and interference from the EU member countries have impacted the state of negotiation but he was hopeful that they shall be able to agree on the framework by the end of the year, the release added. 

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