India, EU to strengthen science and technology cooperation

New Delhi, Nov 30: India and the European Union will strengthen their science and technology cooperation and chart out new areas for strategic partnership at the eighth Indo-EU Summit here today.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will lead the Indian delegation, and is expected to discuss pressing global issues like climate change, challenges posed by terrorism and ways to improve bilateral trade and investment.

Dr. Singh will also discuss about the civil nuclear issue with Portugal’s Prime Minister Jose Socrates, who currently heads the 27-member grouping.

Dr. Singh is likely to apprise Socrates about the progress in talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on safeguards agreement, considering that the EU is closely watching these negotiations before it can firm up its position on India's quest for civil nuclear cooperation with the international community.

Improving trade and investment ties between the EU countries and India is another key area that will dominate the discussions at the summit.

The two sides will sign an agreement for upgrading scientific and technological cooperation and a Memorandum of Understanding on Multi-Annual Indicative Programme 2007-2010 in development cooperation.

The summit aims to redefine the steps to facilitate and implement policies for growth, examine new vistas for boosting trade and investment, analyse centres of competencies and leverage them for mutual benefit, replicate significant success stories and recommend regulatory reforms to enhance business climate.

The past few years have seen India becoming a global player, attracting growing interest and attention as a leader and increasingly engaging with other players on its own terms.

India's ties with the EU, in particular, have developed exponentially in scope and intensity in the recent years. In 2000, the EU-India Partnership took a quantum leap with the decision to hold regular annual summits.

The summit will provide great opportunity for deliberations, networking, and exchange of ideas amongst the participants from India and the EU. Past summits have played a crucial role to help raise issues to augment bilateral trade relations and investment between India and the EU nations. (ANI)

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