India-Luxembourg Virtual Summit | 20 Nov 2020

Why in News

Recently, the Prime Ministers of India and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg have held the first-ever India-Luxembourg Virtual Summit.

  • Both countries have cordial and friendly relations for over more than seven decades since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1948.

Key Points

  • Focus Areas:
    • Strengthening India-Luxembourg relationship in the post-Covid-19 world, especially in the areas of financial technology, green financing, space applications, digital innovations and start-ups.
  • Promote Multilateralism:
    • Strengthen cooperation on realising effective multilateralism and combating global challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic, terrorism and climate change.
  • New Initiatives:
  • Agreements Signed at the Summit:
    • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India International Exchange (India INX) and Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
    • MoU between State Bank of India (SBI) and Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
      • Both these provide for cooperation in financial services, industry maintenance of orderly markets in securities, ESG (environmental, social and governance) and green finance in the local market.
    • MoU between Invest India and Luxinnovation.
      • It provides for support and development of mutual business cooperation, including promotion and facilitation of inbound FDI, coming from or proposed by Indian and Luxembourgish investors.

India-Luxembourg Relations

  • Economic Relationship:
    • Both countries have a long-standing cooperation in the steel sector and the leaders called upon businesses, including SMEs and startups, to explore further opportunities for expanding the economic relationship.
    • Both nations look forward to the 17th Joint Economic Commission (JEC) between India and the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union to review the economic and trade relations.
  • Finance:
    • The proposed agreement between the regulatory authorities Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) would deepen bilateral cooperation in the financial sector.
    • Luxembourg, as a leading international financial centre in Europe, can act as an important bridge to help connect India’s financial services industry with international markets and reach European and global investors.
  • Space and Digital Cooperation:
    • Both countries have an ongoing space cooperation, including in the domain of satellite broadcasting and communications.
    • Luxembourg based space companies have started utilising the services of India for launching their satellites into space.
    • A cooperation instrument in the area of exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes is currently under discussion between the two Governments.
    • In the wake of the pandemic, both India and Luxembourg are promoting digitalisation through the "Digital India” programme and the "Digital Luxembourg” initiative respectively and agree to explore convergences between the two initiatives.
  • Higher Education and Research:
    • Indian National Brain Research Centre and the Luxembourg Institute of Health and the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine have an ongoing collaboration in the field of neurodegenerative diseases.
      • Neurodegenerative diseases are a heterogeneous group of disorders that are characterised by the progressive degeneration of the structure and function of the central nervous system or peripheral nervous system.
      • Examples: Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
    • IITs in Bombay, Kanpur and Madras and the National Law School of India have links with the University of Luxembourg which will be further expanded for higher education and research in both countries.
  • Culture and People-to-people Ties:
    • In 2019, Luxembourg issued a commemorative stamp to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
    • Both countries intend to conclude a Migration and Mobility agreement to further strengthen mobility as well as an agreement on an exemption of visas for holders of diplomatic and official/service passports.
  • EU-India Relations:
    • In July 2020, a virtual summit between India and the European Union (EU) was held, where India expressed support for further intensification of the India-EU relationship, through strengthening cooperation in areas of common interest in the Indo-Pacific region, and through comprehensive, sustainable and rules-based connectivity.
    • Luxembourg, as one of the founding members of the EU, has played a constructive role in supporting stronger India-EU ties, which becomes even more important for the post-Covid-19 economic recovery.
  • Multilateral Cooperation:

Way Forward

  • The first stand-alone Summit between India and Luxembourg in the past two decades marks a new phase in the bilateral relations where both countries reaffirmed their commitment towards widening and deepening the spectrum of the bilateral relations and enhancing consultation and coordination in regional and multilateral fora on matters of mutual and global interest.

Source: PIB