Modi meets Cameron as biz tops G20 agenda

Modi meets Cameron as biz tops G20 agenda

Ahead of the G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held his first bilateral meetings with European Union (EU) President Herman Van Rompuy and British Prime Minister David Cameron where economic cooperation topped the agenda. He ended the day with a dinner hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Modi held talks with an EU delegation headed by Rompuy who conveyed that the bloc was keen to “re-engage” with India in all areas, especially trade. Modi told him that the “EU should take advantage of the new economic environment in India.”

An India-EU free trade agreement is yet to be concluded. Negotiations are still stuck on key points, including the EU’s demand for significant duty cuts in automobiles and tax cuts on wines and spirits and dairy products and also a demand for a strong intellectual property rights regime. The value of EU-India trade grew from €28.6 billion in 2003 to €72.7 billion in 2013.

Push for yoga
Modi’s proposal for an international Yoga Day, which he had put forth at the UN, got further impetus with Rompuy telling him that the 28-member bloc supported his initiative for a Yoga Day. “EU supports your initiative for a Yoga Day @UN A- EU Prez Herman Von Rompuy to PM @narendramodi,” tweeted the Ministry of External Affairs.

The support comes as about 130 countries have joined as co-sponsors to an India-led UN General Assembly resolution recognising yoga’s benefits and to commemorate an International Day of Yoga, in response to Modi’s call for holding such an event.
His meeting with Cameron was another highlight of his engagements at Brisbane.

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