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India is currently the world’s fastest-growing large economy. India represents a sizable and dynamic market, with an annual GDP growth rate of around 7% and is an important player in global economic governance. India is an important trade and investment partner for the EU.

Trade picture

  • The EU is India's largest trading partner, accounting for €92 billion worth of trade in goods in 2018 or 12.9% of total Indian trade, ahead of China (10.9%) and the USA (10.1%).
  • The EU is the leading destination for Indian exports (almost 18% of the total).
  • India is the EU’s 9th largest trading partner, accounting for 2.3% of EU’s total trade in goods in 2018, well behind the USA (16.9%) and China (15.3%).
  • Trade in goods between the EU and India increased by 72% in the last decade.
  • Trade in services between the EU and India increased from €23 billion in 2010 to €29 billion in 2016. India is now the 4th largest service exporter to the EU and the 6th largest destination for EU services exports.
  • The EU's share in foreign investment inflows to India more than doubled from 8% to 18% in the last decade, making the EU the first foreign investor in India.
  • EU foreign direct investment stocks in India amounted to €73 billion in 2016, which is significant but way below EU foreign investment stocks in China (€178 billion).
  • Some 6,000 EU companies are present in India, providing directly 1.7 million jobs and indirectly 5 million jobs in a broad range of sectors.
  • Indian companies invested over €50 billion in Europe since 2000.

EU-India: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2016-2018, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2016 39.3 37.8 -1.5
2017 44.0 41.7 -2.3
2018 45.8 45.7 -0.2

EU-India: Trade in services

Trade in services 2015-2017, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2015 15.1 15.2 0.1
2016 15.7 14.4 -1.3
2017 17.1 16.6 -0.5

EU-India: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2017, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2017 11.2 76.7 65.5

Date of retrieval: 17/04/2019

More statistics on India

EU and India

A key EU objective in its trade relations with India is to work towards a sound, transparent, open, non-discriminatory and predictable regulatory and business environment for European companies trading with or investing in India, including the protection of their investments and intellectual property. The aim is to contribute to unlocking the untapped potential of two-way trade between the EU and India.

Currently, India’s trade regime and regulatory environment remains relatively restrictive. Technical barriers to trade (TBT), sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures, deviation from international standards and agreements, as well as discrimination based on legislative or administrative measures by India affect a wide range of sectors, including goods, services, investment and public procurement.

The EU uses all available channels and fora to work with India to ensure fair market access and predictable investment conditions, as well as to promote the full respect by both sides of their multilateral obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO). A key instrument in this respect is the EU-India Trade Sub-Commission established under the 1994 Cooperation and Partnership Agreement between the EU and India, and which meets annually. Furthermore, a number of technical working groups have been established to discuss a broad range of trade-related issues such as SPS and TBT, agriculture, animal and plant health, steel, etc.

The EU and India also share an interest in sustaining a rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at its centre. While the multilateral trading system has been instrumental in integrating the global economy and helping to prevent protectionism, it is confronted with a serious crisis. The EU seeks India’s constructive engagement in addressing global trade challenges in the WTO and strengthening a rules-based multilateral trading system.

For more information

More information on the EU-India strategic partnership, including in the area of trade and investment, can be found on the new EU Strategy for India adopted on 20 November 2018 and the related Council conclusions.

Trading with India