New Delhi [India]May 31 (ANI): In order to strengthen the connectivity of the northeastern states of India, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union Mission to India and Asian Confluence will jointly organize the Indo-European Connectivity Conference in Meghalaya on June 1, 2.
The purpose of the meeting was to explore the possibility of promoting investment in connectivity in the northeastern states of India as well as with India’s neighbours; Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
The meeting is an outcome of the Indo-European Connectivity Partnership launched during the Indo-European Leaders’ Meeting in May 2021.
The meeting will focus on connectivity through three pillars, namely: digital, energy and transport, with the aim of identifying concrete projects for joint implementation. This was also considered an important outcome of the recently concluded India-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) ministerial meeting.
The meeting will be opened by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Kongkal Sangma and Foreign Minister Rajkumar Ranjan Singh.
Senior officials from the Government of India, European Commission, Northeastern Indian state governments, governments of Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, as well as stakeholders from the private sector are expected to participate and provide their insights and perspectives on the topic.
The northeastern region of India lies in the east of Bangladesh and the north of Myanmar and is connected to the rest of India through the narrow strip between Bangladesh and Bhutan.
Northeast India faces several challenges, including infrastructure development, lack of connectivity and insurgencies in some areas. The region is also prone to frequent flooding and landslides, which can cause major damage to infrastructure and disrupt daily life. However, the government is working hard to address these issues and promote the development of the area.
Meanwhile, amid skepticism about China, economic ties between India and the European Union are being strengthened based on new trade and technology plans, Daily Mirror Online (DMO) reported.
The European Union (EU) is seeking deeper ties with New Delhi as relations with China are strained by a sanctions dispute over allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, freezing progress on a 2020 investment deal.
EU officials spoke of a “very promising start” after the first meeting of the EU-India trade and technology committee in Brussels.
“Additionally, the EU wants to “de-risk” relations with China as many countries are moving away from Chinese dominance in the sector due to supply chain vulnerabilities and geopolitical pressures.
However, Brussels does not want to completely cut ties with Beijing, but it does want to diversify its supply chains. This is where India comes in.
A large part of semiconductor manufacturing involves design and intellectual labor. India has an advantage here because most of the world’s semiconductor design engineers are of Indian origin or of Indian descent; chip-making companies such as Intel and NVIDIA have large factories in India that are already crowded with Indian talent working on design problems.
In addition, New Delhi’s relationship with Beijing has also been complicated by border disputes.
Meanwhile, progress on a 2020 investment deal has been frozen as Europe’s relationship with China has long been strained by a dispute over sanctions over allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, the DMO reported.
Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president of the European Commission, cited India’s plan to ramp up semiconductor production as an example of how the EU’s relationship with India has “brought strength” into Brussels’ idea of ”de-risking”.
She listed quantum computing and “technical developments beyond 5G” as areas where India could provide Europe with a “trusted supplier” in the future.
“We have seen that many companies leaving China also prefer to go to Southeast Asian countries. So India is competing with other Asian companies here,” said Berlin-based analyst Christian Wagner, a fellow at the German Institute for International Studies. Security Affairs told DW.
“But when we look at the geostrategic landscape,” he said, “I think India is definitely much more influential,” Wagner said.
India is in a very good position at the moment, he said, because Western countries, the United States, the European Union, Russia as well as China are courting India and trying to strengthen their ties, Deutsche Welle reported. (Ani)
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