With eyes on China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), India and the European Union yesterday (8 May) announced a comprehensive Connectivity Partnership to support resilient and sustainable connectivity projects in India and other nations and regions like Africa, Central Asia, and the Indo-Pacific, Economic Times.
The development gains significance as it is India's first such connectivity initiative with any foreign partner covering three geographical zones. Moreover, the alternative to BRI comes at a time when China's BRI has pushed several nations into debt traps.
The said India-EU partnership covers digital, energy, transport and people-to-people sectors. It is aimed at pooling together resources, norms and expertise to serve the needs of the next generation of sustainable and quality infrastructure.
The partnership has been designed envisaging a role to be played by the private sectors from both sides. The document on the partnership read, "In order to facilitate large-scale private investments in sustainable connectivity, the two sides express their commitment to implementing relevant international standards, to ensure a level playing field for companies and to ensure reciprocal access to markets."
The two sides have also decided that the implementation of the partnership will be aligned with that of the EU-India 2025 Roadmap.
It should be noted that before this, the EU has signed such a partnership only with Japan. The said deal was signed in September 2019.
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