Jaishankar meets Belgian PM; discusses bilateral cooperation, strategic concerns

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Indian flag, Indian High Commission, London, pro-Khalistanis
File Photo

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has called on Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and discussed with him growing bilateral cooperation, including in trade and technology, and spoke about contemporary strategic concerns.

Jaishankar arrived in Brussels on Monday evening for the last leg of his three-nation tour covering Bangladesh, Sweden and Belgium.

Jaishankar said he conveyed personal greetings from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to De Croo during the meeting, which was also attended by Commerce and Industries Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Skill Development and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

Jaishankar is in Brussels for the first meeting of the India-EU Trade and Technology Council scheduled for Tuesday.

“Delighted to call on PM of Belgium @alexanderdecroo along with my colleagues – @PiyushGoyal & @rajeev_GOI today. Conveyed personal greetings of PM @narendramodi,” the external affairs minister wrote on Twitter.

“Discussed our growing bilateral cooperation, including in trade and technology. Also spoke about contemporary strategic concerns,” he said.

The Indian ministerial delegation also met Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission.

“Thank President of @EU_Commission@vonderleyen for meeting the Indian ministerial team. Appreciate the open discussion on trade, technology and geopolitics. Look forward to the India-EU Trade and Technology Council meeting tomorrow,” Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting.

The first ministerial-level meeting of the India-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) will take place on Tuesday in Brussels.

The TTC was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of the European Commission during the latters visit to India in April last year.

Subsequently, both sides established three working groups under the TTC.

The first working group is on strategic technologies, digital governance and digital connectivity. The second one is on green and clean energy technologies and the third one is on trade, investment and resilient value chains.

The TTC is expected to facilitate the exchange of critical technologies relating to an array of domains including artificial intelligence, quantum computing, semiconductors and cybersecurity.

The TTC with India is the European Unions second such technology partnership after the first one with the United States which was firmed up in June 2021.

The working group on strategic technologies, digital governance and digital connectivity is focusing on areas of mutual interest such as digital connectivity, artificial intelligence, 5G/6G, quantum computing, semiconductors, cloud systems, cybersecurity, digital skills and digital platforms.

The group on green and clean energy technologies is focusing on green technologies, including investment and standards, with an emphasis on research and innovation. Jaishankar arrived in Belgium after a three-day tour of Sweden where he had a series of high-level discussions, including at the India Trilateral Forum and the European Union Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum (EIPMF) in Stockholm.

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