President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said India and the European Union share a common perspective on many regional and global issues, including a shared commitment to promoting an international rule-based order based on reformed and effective multilateralism.
"The Strategic Partnership that India and EU share is one of the most important relationships for the upcoming decade and strengthening this relationship is a priority for India as it is for the EU. In areas such as climate action, clean energy, sustainable growth, digital transformation and Research & Innovation, the EU will remain an important partner for achieving India's high ambition in these areas," he said when European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen called on him at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
He also described India and the EU as two most vibrant democracies, two of the largest open market economies and pluralistic societies, a communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
About trade and investment, he pointed out that the EU is India's largest trading partner in goods and also one of the most important sources of FDI and an India-EU Free Trade Agreement would unlock the full potential of India-EU economic relations. He stressed that as free-market economies, and world's largest democracies, it is important for like-minded countries like India and the EU to deepen its economic engagement.
The President said that "apart from deepening our economic relations, it is important for India and EU to engage in strategic and geo-political avenues such as in the Indo-Pacific".
"We look forward to the EU and its Member States joining the pillars of the Indo-Pacific Oceans' Initiative. India believes that a more aStrategic EU' in the Indo-Pacific region would contribute to the region's stability," he added.