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Clean Tech is the Way Forward: Arnaldo Abruzzini, Secretary-General and CEO, Eurochambres, Brussels

In an exclusive interaction with Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld, Abruzzini spoke about bilateral trade relations, the US-China tariff war, among other things. Excerpts:

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Arnaldo Abruzzini, Secretary-General and CEO, Eurochambres, Brussels was in India recently to push for greater trade ties between India and the EU. In an exclusive interaction with Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld, Abruzzini spoke about bilateral trade relations, the US-China tariff war, among other things. Excerpts:

You head an influential trade association, do political leaders still listen to trade associations? Has the role of trade associations enhanced or diminished over the years?
The institutional and the political world reacts to pressures, and if the society exerts pressure, these institutions react in a certain way. Look at Europe, we have this big focus on sustainability, which is a reaction to the societal pressure. The trade associations also play a similar role. If they are able to mount pressure on institutions on certain issues, the institutions will react. This is very much the case with trade associations in the businesses. If the trade associations are able to exert pressure on the institutions, they will respond. So the answer is yes, provided you are able to mount pressure on the institutions.

EU and India trade is on the rise, in your view which are the key areas where you see greater scope of collaboration?
As you know, we are one of the oldest economies of the world, and that means we have a developed technology that could be useful in many sectors. But if I have to pick up one sector that is clearly in focus in Europe for India, it is the clean technology sector. 

As we know, clean technology is relevant to all sectors. From smart cities to digital and sustainable finance, it resonates with all. I believe that the scope of collaboration in this sector (clean technology) is immense, and it can support the developmental process in India.

What are some of the things you would like to see changed in India?
I would say the willingness to strike deals with the third countries. I don’t see this in India yet. As a representative of Europe’s largest trade body, I would say that in the EU we have been talking about a deal between EU and India for a long time now.  In a globalised economy, there cannot be a sustainable growth with just domestic market demands. We do see a huge potential for an agreement between India and the EU, but we need to see a greater willingness from the Indian side.

You cannot talk about international trade without China’s role. The trade tariff war between China and the US is impacting trade across the globe. In this context, how does the European Union view this development?
Someone recently said that the EU is in the best position to benefit from it because there are tensions between the two giants, and we should not forget that Europe is one of the largest trade blocks in the world. 

We are currently monitoring the impact that this trade tariff war between the US and China could have on business. Businesses don’t like uncertainties, and we want to play an active role in addressing such trade conflicts.and we want to play an active role in addressing such trade conflicts.


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