The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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India, EU sign two trade pacts

New Delhi, Nov 29: India and European Union today signed two agreements — one for trade and investment development programme and the other for customs cooperation.

A joint statement issued at the end of the 4th India-EU summit today also decided to continue high-level dialogue on multilateral trade issues, launch a €14 million trade and investment development programme to promote economic cooperation and redouble efforts to double bilateral trade to €50 billion by 2008.

The two sides have also decided to have a maritime transport agreement which would help modernise Indian maritime industry, reduce shipping times and costs and provide stability for economic operators. The customs cooperation agreement will improve trade facilitation and fight against fraud related to the Indian and European legislation by providing a legal basis for mutual administrative assistance.

Prime Minister Vajpayee also announced the Indian government's decision to participate in the European satellite project in which New Delhi was widely expected to commit $300 million, more than China’s commitment of $200 million.

Galileo is the first global satellite positioning and navigation system designed for civilian needs. It is composed with a constellation of 30 satellites supported by a worldwide network of ground stations.

The Indian experience in developing and operating space systems and the government's decision to become an active partner of Galileo represents an important added value to this ambitious project.

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