Narendra Modi focuses on stimulating business: Joao Cravinho, EU Ambassador

While the world’s democratic superpower maintained a distance between its hands from Narendra Modi (then Minister of Gujarat in 2012-13), Europe, led by the European Union Delegation to India, was quietly BJP leader nearly two years before the Lok Sabha elections. Actually an ambassador Joao Cravinho, head of the EU delegation, led ambassadors from various European countries to a quiet lunch with Modi in the capital last year. And on the eve of the election, he even toured India to get an idea of ​​the likely outcome and interact with all players across the political spectrum, something foreign envoys rarely do. In an interview with ET, Ambassador Cravinho described the new Prime Minister of India as a man with a clear mind who has a clear vision of India and governance. The ambassador believes that EU member states have the potential to boost Modi’s economic diplomacy and help strengthen India’s economic health.

How do you view this victory of Narendra Modi and BJP? And how will this affect the Indian economy?

We want India to do well. These elections guaranteed political stability for the next five years. A decisive guide would means more difficult decisions and good governance is not possible without difficult decisions. The NDA, led by the BJP, has a clear mandate to make bold and innovative decisions. International politics is not a zero-sum game, and while India would engage other forces economically, the EU has the potential to boost growth in India. The EU is already the bloc’s largest trading partner and is India’s largest source of FDI as a bloc. We stand ready to meet India’s technology and fund needs.


You spoke to Modi when he was Gujarat’s chief minister. How do you assess him as a leader of modern India?

As Portugal’s former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, I have been in contact with various leaders around the world, and I can say that Mr Modi is one of the best. He has clarity of thought and a clear vision of governance, and that is what India requires. He also has a very clear understanding of the challenges facing the country. He is a good listener as well as a good speaker and can participate in enriching discussions. No prime minister would want to have public strife in his record, and I am sure he will not allow any public tensions in India. His priority is to stimulate the economy, and he is focused on that.

Where to India-EU relations am i leaving here What are the priority areas for India-EU and what is the future? Free Trade Agreement this has been negotiated for many years?

Negotiators from India and the European Union are working to conclude the FTA. The proposed agreement will lead to greater openness. In the past, the EU has held discussions with the BJP on the FTA. We accept Mr Modi’s speech on economic issues on 27 February as positive. I have no doubt that the FTA will benefit India. We hope that there will be progress in the FTA before the next India-EU summit in Brussels.

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