New Delhi: India and the European Union announced the establishment of the three working Groups and the setting up of the new Trade and Technology Council (TTC), according to the statement released by European Commission (EC).

The TTC was jointly launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and EC Chief Ursula von der Leyen in April 2022, in New Delhi.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs Ministry's statement, the TTC is a strategic coordination mechanism that will allow both partners to tackle challenges at the nexus of trade, trusted technology and security, and thus deepen cooperation in these fields between India and the EU. The TTC with India is only the second such Council for the EU and the first such mechanism for India.

The first EU-India ministerial meeting is planned to be held in spring 2023. The Ministerial meetings of the TTC will rely on the preparatory work of three working groups, which will meet within two weeks to organise their work: Strategic technologies, digital governance and digital connectivity, Green and clean energy technologies and lastly Trade, investment and resilient value chains.

The first working group will work on areas of mutual interest such as digital connectivity, Artificial Intelligence, 5G/6G, high performance and quantum computing, semiconductors, cloud systems, cybersecurity, digital skills and digital platforms, as per the EC's statement.

Meanwhile, Green and clean energy technologies will focus on green technologies, including investment and standards, emphasizing research and innovation. Areas to be explored could be clean energy, circular economy, waste management, plastic and litter in the ocean. It will also foster cooperation between EU and Indian incubators, SMEs and start-ups.

And lastly, Trade, investment and resilient value chains will work on the resilience of supply chains and access to critical components, energy, and raw materials. It will also work to resolve identified trade barriers and global trade challenges by promoting cooperation in multilateral fora. It will work towards the promotion of international standards and cooperation in addressing global geopolitical challenges.

The three strands of bilateral negotiations on trade, investment and geographical indications will continue separately from the TTC. The High-level Trade & Investment Dialogue will remain the principal organ for steering these negotiations. In addition, the EU-India High-level Digital Investment Forum (DIF) may be organised on the margins of the first TTC Ministerial meeting.

The EU-India Trade and Technology Council is the second such bilateral forum for the EU and the first one established with any partner for India. The EU and the US launched a TTC in June 2021. It will complement the Digital Partnerships already launched with Asian partners as part of the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, the statement added.