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In a globalised economy there cannot be sustainable growth with just domestic market demands: Arnaldo Abruzzini, Eurochambres

Arnaldo Abruzzini, Secretary General and CEO of Eurochambres, Brussels was in India recently to push for greater trade ties between Indian and the EU. In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, Abruzzini spoke about the scope of bilateral trade relations between India and EU, the ongoing tariff war between China and the US and how EU can play a reconciliatory role.

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India’s vast market size makes it an ideal playground for global brands. Trade associations across the world have been engaging with the Indian government to push for greater trade ties.


 Eurochambres, European Union’s (EU) biggest trade association, engages in trade and investment dialogues worldwide, with an intent to overall increase trade and economic activity globally.


Arnaldo Abruzzini, Secretary General and CEO of Eurochambres, Brussels was in India recently to push for greater trade ties between Indian and the EU. In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, Abruzzini spoke about the scope of bilateral trade relations between India and EU, the ongoing tariff war between China and the US and how EU can play a reconciliatory role.


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 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 and it is a reaction to the societal pressure. The trade associations also play a similar role. If they are able to mount pressure on institutions about certain issues, the institutions will react.


This is very much the case with trade associations in 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 for 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 development process in India.


What are some the things you would like to see changed in India?


I would say the willingness to strike deal with third countries. I don’t see this in India yet. As a representative of Europe’s largest trade body, I would say that at EU we have been talking about a deal between EU and India for a longtime now.


In a globalised economy, there cannot be sustainable growth with just domestic market demands. We do see a huge potential for an agreement between India and EU, but we need to see 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 EU is in a best position to benefit from it because there are tensions between 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.



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