India has been one of the EU's strategic partners since 2005. This upgrade in relations has been accompanied by an intensification of bilateral meetings. The Directorate-General (DG) for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs is involved in a number of sectorial working groups with India, and cooperates on actions related to standards and innovation.
India’s status as a major new economy is reflected in its inclusion in the BRICS grouping of major emerging national economies that also includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. India has an extensive history of economic and political relations with the EU, and since 2000, high-level political summits are held annually and back-to-back with business summits.
The Joint Action Plan between the EU and India in 2005 planned the establishment of a Platform for Industrial Policy Dialogue to exchange information and views on industrial policy and enhance mutual understanding or regulatory frameworks. Progress on these issues has been slow however.
Some regulatory dialogue has started in the framework of Working Groups on pharmaceutical and technical barriers to trade. Possible sectorial dialogues have been proposed by the EU on space policy or the automotive sector.
In the automotive sector, the EU proposes to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation with India, but India has linked the final outcome to discussion on non-tariff barriers in Free Trade Agreement negotiations. These negotiations are on hold due to India’s general elections.
DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, in co-operation with European standardisation organisations, supports and operates the Seconded European Standardization Expert for India (SESEI) project. Its objective is to raise awareness on the European standardisation system, values and assets in India.
India has showed increasing interest in co-operation in the field of innovation.