With mass digitisation, India has proved that technology is not just for the educated, privileged, and wealthy. The country's open and secure digital public platforms can be significant for the Indo-Pacific, the world's most data-rich region. The Indian model is applicable because it is open-source, interoperable, auditable, and enshrines individual rights, ownership, and empowerment.
India and France have long been reliable partners, and friends in need. The fifth meeting between the leaders of the two countries highlights the focus on strengthening cooperation in 21st century issues. The India-France Track 1.5 Dialogue, hosted by Gateway House, Mumbai and Ifri, Paris, explored the potential of cooperation in digitalisation and energy transition
China has established a dominant presence in the Indo-Pacific through exploitative economic engagements. This has destabilised smaller nations in the region and made them dependent on Chinese support. For a free and open Indo-Pacific, India must press its advantage in human and economic capacity building.
Financial intermediaries are critical lubricants for business, growth and development. The Indo-Pacific countries are industrializing, but smaller nations lag behind economically. The Quad countries can aid the advancement of the financial architecture in the Indo-Pacific by helping to develop an ecosystem, modelled on the examples of Japan and India.
Big Tech is powerful and its profits are growing - by 105% over the last year. It dominates economies. This raises concerns about data protection and privacy, anti-trust, fintech and the specific role of intermediaries. India is leading the way on fintech, but is behind several countries and institutions on digital rules. It is important to establish laws and rules to govern technology – whether domestic or through multilateral bodies – with the aim to strike the right balance between innovation and regulation.
European defence companies can contribute significantly to India’s military modernisation under the ‘Make in India’ campaign. But before this can happen they will have to deepen their interactions in the country at the political and strategic levels to identify common areas of interest and understand India’s technological priorities in the sector
India-EU space collaboration is still nascent largely due to the EU’s limited autonomy over its space programme. Astro-geopolitics, an inevitable successor to geopolitics, requires confidence-building and furthering strengthening of bilateral linkages
Cyber cooperation between India and the European Union currently lacks a security focus despite the common threats they face. Differences persist on both sides regarding India’s data adequacy status which has resulted in a blocking of the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement negotiations.
With common objectives in the Indo-Pacific, the maritime sphere is a good opportunity for India and the EU to deepen cooperation. They must focus on preventing outbreak of an inter-state armed conflict; addressing maritime piracy; adhering to the UNCLOS; and developing maritime infrastructure and the blue economy in the region