The inaugural ministerial meeting of the India-European Union Trade and Technology Council (TTC) will be held on May 16, 2023, in Brussels, Belgium. Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Textiles, Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, and External Affairs Minister (EAM) are among the co-chairs, as is Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). Executive Vice Presidents Dombrovskis and Vestager co-chair the EU side. The TTC was established in April 2022 in New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and H.E. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, with the goal of creating a high-level coordination platform to address strategic challenges at the intersection of trade, trusted technology, and security.
Minister Goyal will attend a bilateral discussion with EVP Dombrovskis on May 15, 2023, followed by Working Group-3 stakeholder meetings in the presence of business leaders from both the EU and India. Six corporate leaders from the EU and India will attend the WG3 meeting, which will focus on trade, technology, and resilient supply chains. In the afternoon, the Minister will deliver the keynote talk at a business event hosted by the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB). This conference would include a discussion of Belgium’s economic impact in India as well as future investment prospects in India. In addition, the three Indian ministers will meet with the Belgian Prime Minister and the President of the European Commission.
Minister Goyal would participate in a stakeholder event for Working Groups 1 and 2. Group 1 is concerned with digital governance and connectivity, whereas Group 2 is concerned with clean and green energy technology. This event will also feature roughly eight business leaders from each side who will give their perspectives and suggestions. At this event, Goyal will give a special address. EAM and EVP Vestager will also be present at this conference.
Later in the day, Minister Goyal will hold a bilateral meeting with European Commissioner for Internal Trade, Thierry Breton, to discuss issues relating to the SME sector, start-up ecosystem, and e-commerce. The External Affairs Minister, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, and the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology will attend the inaugural ministerial meeting of the India-EU TTC.
The mechanism’s three working groups will report on roadmaps for future bilateral cooperation: (1) the Working Group on Strategic Technologies, Digital Governance, and Digital Connectivity; (2) the Working Group on Green and Clean Energy Technologies; and (3) the Working Group on Trade, Investment, and Resilient Value Chains.
The first ministerial meeting will lay the groundwork for cooperation across all three working groups and provide guidance to accomplish targeted goals before the second ministerial conference later this year. Various issues of mutual interest, including ongoing negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), addressing issues of mutual market access, WTO reforms, and cooperation in several areas of mutual interest, would be discussed during high-level meetings with senior leaders from the European Union and Belgium.
The Department of Commerce steers the Working Group on Trade, Investment, and Resilient Value Chains, and the first meeting was co-chaired by Sunil Barthwal, Commerce Secretary, and Sabine Weyand, Director General for Trade, from respective sides.