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India-Europe business grown impressively, says Chidambaram

Jun '07
Following is the text of Keynote address made by the Finance Ministry Shri P. Chidambaram at the India Europe Investment Forum in London:

“I thank you for the opportunity to address the India-Europe Investment forum. The linkages between Europe and India go back a long way. In recent years to be more exact, since 1991 India has embarked on a voyage of self-discovery and, in the process, has reached out to the other countries of the world in order to explore opportunities for trade and investment."

Our engagement has produced splendid results. We have strengthened old linkages and established new connections. The time is now ripe to renew and reinforce these linkages and take our partnership to a new and higher level.

Let me begin by congratulating the representatives of the countries of the European Union on the historic treaty that the 27 nations concluded at the Brussels summit three days ago.

Your leaders have shown great courage, wisdom and foresight. The European Union is poised to become a stronger economic union and a major driver of global growth.

India's relations with Europe have expanded over the years to cover many areas of mutual interest, including trade, investment and development cooperation. Let me take trade first: Trade with the European Union has grown impressively over the years.

India's exports to the EU stood at US$23.8 billion in the eleven months from April 2006 to February 2007 and accounted for 21 per cent of our total exports.

India's imports from the EU during the same period stood at US$24 billion and accounted for 15 per cent of our total imports. Among the major commodities exported to the EU were textiles and related products, engineering goods, chemicals and gems and jewellery.

The major commodities imported from the EU were pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, non-electrical machinery, and chemicals.

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Press Information Bureau Government of India

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