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Manmohan Singh to broaden India-EU engagement in Brussels


December 7, 2010 - New Delhi

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, will be visiting Belgium for the 11th India-European Union Summit, which is being held in Brussels on December 10.

The European Union side will be represented at the Summit by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Barroso.

"The 11th India-EU Summit is the first to be held after the Lisbon Treaty came into force on December 1, 2009. It will provide an occasion to discuss the expansion of the India-EU engagement as EU itself evolves and takes on more and diverse responsibilities. The leaders will hold discussions on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual concern," said Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Vivek Katju.

"EU is an important trading partner of India and also a ignificant source of investment. The bilateral trade in goods in 009 was 53 billion in value while services traded in the same ear at 16.3 billion. The two sides have been in discussion to onclude a Broad-Based Trade and Investment agreement. egotiations are progressing well and we are hopeful of oncluding the agreement in early 2011," he added.

Vivek Katju further said an India-EU Business Summit will be held on the margins of the Summit on the theme "EU-India Partnership Opportunities for Sustainable Development".

"It would have two sessions on "Clean Technologies in Energy" and "Transport and Infrastructure" and a CEO Round Table on "Growth and Partnership Opportunities," he added.

During his visit, Dr Singh will also have a bilateral meeting with Belgium Prime Minister Yves Leterme in Brussels on December 10.

The Prime Minister will visit Germany on December 11, where he will have meetings with German President Christian Wulff and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The talks of Dr Singh with the German leadership are expected to focus on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual concern.

"The Indo-German relations are also marked by rapidly growing economic and trade ties. Germany is our largest trading partner in EU, one of the top investors and a source of technology," said Vivek Katju.

This will be Dr Singh's third visit to Germany after April 2006 (when India was partner country at the Hanover Fair) and June 2007 (G 8+5 Summit).

ANI

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