The EU and India in Search of a Partnership
Chapter 4: The Evolution of EU–India Trade Relations
4. The Evolution of EU-India Trade Relations 4.1 HISTORY OF EU-INDIA RELATIONS Since 1962, when India established diplomatic relations with the then fledgling European Economic Community (EEC), the evolving relationship has been characterized by increasing levels of cooperation and dialogue across a spectrum of issues including political interaction, trade and investment, economic cooperation, development collaboration, joint civil society activities and cultural exchanges. Initial relations between India and the EEC were particularly easy because the United Kingdom, India's former colonial power, had not yet joined. The UK acceded to the EEC in 1973. In 1971, the six-member EEC extended to India (as well as other developing countries), preferential tariffs under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). From 1973 to 1985, the EEC and India established a series of commercial cooperation agreements which culminated in the formalization of their ongoing dialogues into the first Joint Commission meeting in 1988. In 1991, the partners launched the European Community Investment Partners scheme in India to facilitate financing and joint ventures among small and medium-sized enterprises. The Indian and European private sectors follow suit by launching the Joint Business Forum in 1992. The EC-India Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development came into force in 1994, further institutionalizing the parties' regular consultations and other aspects of their relationship. The partners began to hold annual Summit meetings involving high-profile, high-level officials and participants. The relationship solidified further in 1999 when the EU-India Round Table was formally launched, creating a forum for meetings to be held twice annually,...
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