- Europe-India Chamber pushing for free trade talks
Europe-India Chamber pushing for free trade talks
Business On line Oct 17, 2009, Brussels
- EICC Secretary General asks Indian manufacturers to become competitive and quality conscious
The Secretary General of the EICC has called Indian companies to become competitive and at the same time improve their products through innovation to meet international standards. Addressing the Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture (MACCIA) organised “Global Maharashtra” Conference, the Secretary General also expressed the view that the proposed Free Trade Agreement with EU would help India to get market access for its products such as textiles, pharmaceutical products, leather and processed agricultural goods and other consumer items. He added that the FTA between India and the EU could provide a big boost to both economies as the world economy has already slipped into recession. The theme of his talk was “Promoting EU-India Trade Opportunities through Strengthening of the Strategic Partnership”. The Conference held in Mumbai on 10 January 2009 was attended by more than 150 entrepreneurs and business leaders from India, Europe, US, Canada, South East Asia and Gulf countries. The Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra also addressed the event. The MACCIA is the apex Chamber of Industry, Trade & Agriculture, founded in the year 1927.
The Secretary General observed that in spite of the fact that EU is India’s largest trading partner accounting for 24% of trade, the EU-India trade and economic relations have not matured and it is more complimentary rather than competitive. In his view, due to the current economic and financial crisis, Europe is moving into unexpected and unpredictable directions which offer Indian business a unique opportunity to make some innovative plans to enhance the existing business cooperation between the two continents. At the same time, the Secretary General said that that it was important that EU businesses remained optimistic and look for new alliances with countries like India. He also said that although trade and investment remains the corner stone of EU-India relations, it is not enough that EU is India’s largest trading partner and also it is not enough that India has effected several changes in its tariff and custom policies, as for both of them there could be significant opportunities for market access improvement through substantial structural changes in their economic and investment policies.
- EICC participates in VGGIS 2009 in Ahmedabad
On the invitation of the India’s Trade body, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr. Prasad also attended the 4th Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit [VGGIS 2009] in Ahmedabad on 12-13 January 2009 organised by the Government of Gujarat, along with the Board Members Mr. Sanjay Dalmia and Dr. Mohan Kaul. Aimed at bringing together business leaders, investors, corporations, thought leaders, policy and opinion makers; the summit was intended to serve as a perfect platform to understand and explore business opportunities in the State of Gujarat. The event afforded the EICC to network with pharmaceutical and other companies who have interest in Europe. During the visit to India, the Secretary General also attended the VGGIS 2009 in Ahmedabad
- EICC calls for harmonization of Visa policy of EU countries
The EICC has criticized the restrictive visa policy of the European Union countries to Indian business people. In a statement the Secretary General Sunil Prasad has said that the rigid and unhelpful attitude of EU member countries’ goes against the spirit of EU-India strategic partnership as due to the visa restriction it has become practically impossible for Indian business people to fulfil setting up businesses in Europe and also to conclude any business collaboration. Following increasing complaints by Indian businessmen facing problems in getting EU Schengen visa and the high-handed manner in which they are sometimes treated, particularly at airports and border crossing points by immigration officials in Europe, the Secretary General expressed his disappointment. The Secretary General decried that five years on after the signing of the strategic partnership, the visa problem is still crying for a solution. According to the Secretary General, on one hand the EU wants the bilateral trade with India to reach 160 billion Euros by 2015 and free trade agreement signed by 2010 and on the other hand it is creating road blocks and preventing Indian business to enhance trade with EU. This approach of the visa issue to Indian business is going to be the single most spoiling factor to achieve this target, he said. He also called for harmonization of visa procedures by the EU counties in India and asked the EU countries to explore effective means to improve the system so that the synergy to reinforce improving trade between EU and India is met as according to him, at this time of economic recession in Europe, EU needs business collaboration and improving trade with India more than what India needs from Europe. Therefore, this issue according to the Secretary General, needs a sense of urgency in the EU countries,
- EICC sees trade body’s role in innovation economy
EICC sees specific role of trade bodies in the new scientific economic order emerging as a result of the current financial and economic crisis. Speaking on the Innovation Economy Conference organized by the Science Business in Brussels on 2 June 2009, EICC Board Member Mr. M. S. Chandramouli called for the need for business, trade and educational institutions to cooperate with each other in the new areas of creativity and innovation. According to him, creativity is the ‘R&D laboratory’ while innovation is the ‘route to the market’. In that context Mr. Chandramouli gave the example of the EICC which after five years of innovative struggle was on the ‘route to the market’. Mr. Chandramouli also spoke about the dynamics of knowledge economy and the importance of creativity as economic actors. He said that innovation process implies step which goes beyond the generation of new ideas and product since it entails the transformation of the models of production and dissemination for the growth of the creative economy. Adding, he said that innovative thinking and processes run ahead of organisation and structure, and give informal structures and organisation a speed with which the ideas move forward. Mr. Chandramouli also informed the Conference, attended by more than 200 participants, about India Calling 2009 being partnered by the 5 year EICC with the 102-year-old Indian Merchant’s Chamber. This according to him was the result of innovation, creation and imagination. The Science Business is an independent news service that brings together buyers and sellers of emerging technologies.