India, EU ink nuclear pact, aim at trade treaty by 2010

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    India, EU ink nuclear pact, aim at trade treaty by 2010

    Fri, 06 Nov 2009 12:10:23 GMT


    New Delhi - India and the 27-member European Union Friday signed an agreement on a nuclear energy project and decided to conclude a free-trade pact within a year. Issues such as climate change, the global financial crisis and energy security featured prominently at the 10th EU-India Summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the 27-nation bloc.

    European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and the Commissioner for External Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, also participated in the summit in New Delhi.

    "An important outcome was the signing of the India-EU agreement in the field of fusion energy research. This agreement underscores the growing importance of energy security and clean energy in our cooperation," Singh said in a press briefing with the European leaders.

    The agreement which marks India's formal participation in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Research (ITER) was inked by India's Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar and Ferrero-Waldner, who represented the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).

    "In the long term, it [the agreement] will develop a specific agenda for fusion research cooperation that goes far beyond ITER," the European Commission said.

    The ITER is 10-billion euro project that aims to harness nuclear fusion and is expected to be operational in Cadarche, France, by 2016.

    "Both sides are agreed that a broad-based trade and investment pact is in [their] mutual interest. We have expressed a hope that negotiations can be completed in one year," Singh said.

    The EU and India began negotiations in 2007 on the trade pact, but differences persist over intellectual property rights and the EU's insistence on linking trade with climate issues and child labour in India.

    The EU is India's largest trading partner with annual bilateral trade of 77 billion euros (110 billion dollars).

    India's Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said both sides were looking at doubling trade to 200 billion dollars in the next four years.

    Reinfeldt said relations between India and EU had a "huge potential to grow stronger" as both sides exchanged views on global warming ahead of the UN summit on climate change in Copenhagen in December.

    "We have said that we need a mandate of 100 billion euros when we come to 2020 and that Europe is ready to take its fair share of that as part of the developed [countries'] effort to meet mitigation and adaptation needs," he said.

    India has consistently argued that developed countries have to pay for the global warming they have caused.

    The sharp spurt in violence by the radical Islamic groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan was another key area for discussion, during which both sides expressed keenness to step up cooperation in counter-terrorism.

    In this connection, India and EU said they would work towards an early finalization of an agreement between Europol, the EU's criminal intelligence agency, and Indian security agencies.

    "India and the EU stand together in combating terrorism which is a serious threat to international peace and security," Reinfeldt said.

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    Primary: India, EU ink nuclear pact, aim at trade treaty by 2010 - Summary : India World

    India, EU ink nuclear pact
    India, EU ink nuclear pact, to have trade treaty by 2010
    India, EU ink nuclear pact, to have trade treaty by 2010

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