The EU and India will agree to restart the free trade talks that were established in 2013.

According to a draft statement picked up by major news wires - concerns about the rise of China are a driving force to bringing Brussels and Delhi closer.

India-EU summit 2020 – Defining the future of the strategic partnership | ORF

The draft statement, which still needs signatures from EU ambassadors on Wednesday, needs New Delhi's final approval as well. This would in turn bind two of the most powerful economies in an agreement that could be seen to combat the rising power of China.

If approved, the EU and India would "commit to restart negotiations for a balanced, ambitious, detailed, and mutually beneficial trade agreement that would respond to the current challenges."

According to the draft, leaders would also pursue an investment security agreement and a third agreement on so-called geographical indications, which aim to secure specialized products such as champagne from France and Darjeeling tea from India. Although the calculation was rendered before the United Kingdom's exit from the EU, a 2020 report by the European Parliament placed the possible advantages of a trade agreement with India for the EU at up to €8.5 billion ($10.2 billion).

The draft declaration also paves the way for an arrangement between the EU and India to develop joint infrastructure projects across the world. The agreement will build on a parallel agreement reached by the EU and Japan in 2019, which sought to include an antidote to Chinese largesse, which has sparked mistrust in the West and in Tokyo.

"Our cooperation would foster an open, viable, equitable, sustainable, comprehensive, and rules-based connectivity,"

The draft summit statement stated, implying a veiled critique of Chinese-financed ventures that have pushed debt levels in some Central Asian and Balkan countries to new heights.

How to restore international trade after the pandemic ends | CGTN America

Since 2013, China has been pursuing a network of land and sea ties with Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa through the Belt and Road Initiative, which spans more than 60 nations. The EU would also gain support in India for its latest plan to increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific zone, utilizing areas such as defense and health to defend its interests and fight China, despite the bloc's insistence that its policy is not anti-Beijing. The draft statement stated:

"We stressed our dedication to a democratic, transparent, egalitarian, and rules-based Indo-Pacific space, underpinned by respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, democracy, and rule of law."