Building Bridges: The India-EU Trade and Technology Council Launches its Working Groups

India and the EU announced the formation of three Working Groups under the India-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC). The TTC, launched in April 2022 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, serves as a coordination mechanism for both partners to address trade, technology, and security challenges. This is the second Council of its kind for the EU and the first for India.

The TTC will be co-chaired on the Indian side by the Ministers of External Affairs, Commerce & Industry, and Electronics & Information Technology, while on the EU side, it will be co-chaired by the Executive Vice-Presidents of the European Commission in charge of digital technology and trade. Both sides may invite other members or ministers to participate in TTC meetings based on the issues being discussed. The TTC will meet at least once a year, alternating between India and the EU, either in person or virtually.

The TTC will be results-oriented and will rely on the work of three working groups, which will be established specifically for the TTC. These working groups may also incorporate existing bodies in these areas as necessary. The working groups will be tasked with creating technical work strands to deliver on the objectives agreed upon at the Ministerial level, and structured stakeholder outreach will be ensured at all levels, including the private sector and civil society. Coordination of the working groups and preparations for TTC meetings will be handled by a coordinating entity determined by each side.

The three working groups established under the TTC are:

  1. Strategic Technologies, Digital Governance and Digital Connectivity: This group will focus on cooperation in data governance and human-centric digitalization, implementing the digital connectivity component of the India-EU Connectivity Partnership. It will cover areas such as 5G/6G, AI, high-performance & quantum computing research and development, semiconductors, cloud systems, cyber security, digital skills, digital platforms, and start-ups, among others. This group will also serve as a platform to exchange views on the strategic, political, and security implications of new and emerging technologies and discuss critical technology standards and certification.
  2. Green & Clean Energy Technologies: This group will focus on green technologies, including investment and standards, with an emphasis on research and innovation. It will identify areas of mutual interest for collaboration and implementation, such as clean energy, waste management, plastic and litter in the ocean, and the circular economy, among others. The group will also work towards building human resource capability and capacity in green technologies.
  3. Trade, Investment & Resilient Value Chains: This group will focus on promoting access to critical components, energy, and raw materials. It will address issues of market access by resolving identified trade barriers, promote multilateral cooperation in relation to the WTO, G20, and other fora, and work towards the promotion of international standards and cooperation in addressing global geopolitical challenges.

In addition to the TTC, the High-level Trade & Investment Dialogue will proceed along a separate track, and the planned India-EU High-level Digital Investment Forum will be organized on the margins of a TTC Ministerial meeting.

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