India, Luxembourg to hold first stand-alone Summit meeting tomorrow

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New Delhi [India], November 18 (ANI): India and Luxembourg, which share diplomatic relations that date back to 1929, will hold their first stand-alone Summit on Thursday.

India-Luxembourg Summit, the first in the last two decades, will be an opportunity to lay the platform for cooperation between the two countries in a post-Covid world, according to sources.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Luxembourg counterpart Xavier Bettel will hold a virtual summit on November 19 to discuss the entire spectrum of bilateral relationship, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Tuesday.

India and Luxembourg have continued to maintain high-level exchanges in the recent past.

Jean Claude Kugener, Ambassador of Luxembourg, in a recent interaction with Fortune India Exchange said that as per this year's Indian official statistics, "Luxembourg is the 15th Foreign Direct Investor in the country compared to its 16th ranking in 2018".

"Our [India and Luxembourg] historic bilateral ties go back to 1929, when our government opened its first Vice-consulate in Bombay. This was followed by the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic and the Grand Duchy on 1 July 1948. Over the decades, these relations developed from the extensive cooperation in the steel sector, as Luxembourg was among the top steel producers worldwide in the 19th century, into a strong partnership reflective of both countries' political priorities and business interests," he said.

He further said, "In 2020, as per the Indian official statistics, Luxembourg is the 15th Foreign Direct Investor in the country compared to its 16th ranking in 2018. We are strong trade and investment partners and many Luxembourg companies active in India, from Paul Wurth, Ceratizit, Rotarex to Amer-Sil Ketex contribute to the "Make in India"."

The top diplomat said that the 16th Joint Economic Commission, held in Delhi in September 2019, gave an "excellent opportunity to assess the status of these relations and discuss outstanding issues and new projects".

In terms of investment, India's relationship with Luxembourg has grown over the years.

India and Luxembourg have longstanding cooperation in the steel sector. Luxembourgish company Paul Wurth has been in India for the last two decades and playing an important role in upgrading the steel sector in India in collaboration with SAIL, TISCO, Jindal Steel, etc.

"Steel was one of the cornerstones of our cooperation, which further deepened since the merger of Arcelor and Mittal in 2006 to become the world's leading steel and mining company headquartered in Luxembourg and which increased its presence in India since its takeover of Essar Steel to form the new entity AMNS," the top diplomat said.

He further cited several similar examples like Jindal Polyfilms, which established its European HO in Luxembourg in 2013, Tata Consultancy Services, active in Capellen since 2005, which has doubled in size over the last year.

"We realise the strengthening of the Indian presence in the Grand Duchy at our consulate, which in 2019 became the number one Luxembourg consulate for the delivery of Schengen visas worldwide," Kugener said.

The economic relationship between India and Luxembourg highlights Luxembourg's strength as an important global financial centre. Luxembourg is the 5th largest investor from the EU after the Netherlands, Germany, France, Cyprus and the 15th largest investor in India.

Since July 2014, Luxembourg's cumulative investment in India has more than doubled - from USD 1.088 billion to USD 3.082 billion (March 2020), according to sources.

Luxembourg is the third largest source of Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPI) investments in India after US and Mauritius accounting for approximately 8.5 per cent of these investments.

Luxembourg Stock Exchange was the first stock exchange globally to list Masala Bonds in 2008. (ANI)