India and the 27-nation European Union (EU) are set to expand their strategic partnership by focusing on areas ranging from global financial crisis, UN reforms and trade to energy, climate change and terrorism at their next summit in New Delhi on Nov 6.
Swedish Ambassador to India Lars-Olof Lindgren struck an upbeat note for India-EU partnership in the days to come.
"India is an important partner. There is a huge potential waiting to be tapped. Under the Swedish presidency, we hope the India-EU ties will scale new heights," Lindgren told IANS in New Delhi.
Sweden takes over the six-month rotating EU presidency from the Czech Republic Wednesday.
Announcing the date for the 10th India-EU summit in Prague, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said India and the EU are "indispensable elements in a multi-polar structure".
Krishna discussed a host of bilateral and global issues at the 20th India-EU ministerial troika meeting in the Czech capital Monday that firmed up the agenda for the forthcoming summit.
Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout, EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Representative of the EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy and the incoming Swedish presidency Helga Schmid represented the EU at the discussions.
"We believe that India and the EU are indispensable elements in a multi-polar structure and our strategic partnership, based on shared values and commitment to democracy, freedom, pluralism and multilateralism will be important in addressing the daunting challenges," Krishna told reporters in Prague.
"Today, we shared assessments of our respective regions and also exchanged perspectives on global issues including the current international financial crisis, need for reform of international institutions, including the United Nations, energy, climate change and terrorism," Krishna said.
The two sides reviewed the Joint Action Plan (JAP) signed during the last summit at Marseilles and reaffirmed their commitment to expanding and diversifying their economic and trade ties.
India and the EU agreed to double bilateral trade to 100 billion euros (around $145 billion) in another five years at the last summit in Marseilles.
The two sides are negotiating a broad-based trade and economic agreement that has the potential to multiply their economic interactions manifold.
India and the EU are "two natural partners" and they need to find ways to fight all challenges jointly, including climate change, energy and terrorism, said Ferrero-Waldner.