INDIA- LUXEMBOURG BILATERAL BRIEF
India and Luxembourg enjoy warm and friendly relations characterized by a high degreeofmutual understanding and cooperation at bilateral and multilateral levels. The diplomaticrelations between India and Luxembourg were established in 1948.Luxembourg opened itsEmbassyinNewDelhiinFebruary2002whichisoneofitsfiveembassiesinAsia.Luxembourgalso hasHonoraryConsulsinMumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bengaluru.
Virtual Summit between the Prime Ministers (Nov 2020) - On 19 Nov, 2020, both the PMs held a virtual bilateral summit to discuss the entire spectrum of the bilateral relations and to strengthen the India -Luxembourg cooperation in the post-COVID world.Following agreements were signed:
- MoU between India International Exchange and Luxembourg Stock Exchange
- MoU between State Bank of India and Luxembourg Stock Exchange
- MoU between Invest India and Luxinnovation
As announced during the Summit, Luxembourg joined the International Solar Alliance in February, 2021. An MoU between SEBI and Luxembourg Regulator CSSF has been signed in June 2021. The Summit also institutionalized holding of regular bilateral consultations between the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg. The first Foreign Office Consultations between India and Luxembourg were held on 12 November 2021 in Luxembourg.
Minister of External Affairs Smt. Sushma Swaraj visited Luxembourg from 19-20 June 2018. Itwas the first ever visit to Luxembourg by an External Affairs Minister. During the visit, EAMcalled on the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and the Prime Minister of Luxembourg. EAM held talks withher counterpart, Mr. Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs.
Minister of State forExternal Affairs Gen. (Retd) Dr. V. K. Singh led the Indian delegation to the 12th Asia-Europe Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Luxembourg from November 4-7, 2015. During the visit,Hon’bleMinisterof StatecalledonLuxembourgianForeignMinister,Mr.JeanAsselborn.
Hon'ble Speaker of Lok Sabha Smt. Meira Kumar led a high level Parliamentary Delegation to Luxembourg from June 10-13, 2010 and held bilateral consultations with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg Mr. Jean Claude Juncker.
President Dr. KR Narayanan had visited Luxembourg from 14-16 September, 1998.
MinisterofForeign&EuropeanAffairsoftheGrandDuchyofLuxembourgMr.JeanAsselborn visited India in January 2020 and had a bilateral meeting with External AffairsMinisterofIndia,Dr. S. Jaishankaron28January2020 inNewDelhi. He had paid an official visit to India inMarch 2015 during which he had bilateral consultations with Hon’ble External Affairs Minister. He had earlier visited India in February 2007 in his capacity as the Deputy PrimeMinister and Foreign Minister of Luxembourg.
Finance Minister of Luxembourg Mr. Pierre Gramegna visited Mumbai on 25- 26 June 2018 toparticipate in the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian InfrastructureInvestmentBank(AIIB).Duringhisvisit,healsometMinisterof FinanceShriPiyushGoyal.
Luxembourg’s Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Mr. Francois Bausch,visitedIndiaon11-16 November2017 to participatein theInternationalRoadFederation(IRF)WorldRoadmeeting.
Foreign Ministers and Ministers for Foreign Trade & Investment of Luxembourg have regularlyvisitedIndiawithbusinessdelegations. DeputyPrimeMinisterandMinisterofEconomyofLuxembourg,Mr.EtienneSchneider,ledaneconomicdelegation toIndia (NewDelhi&Mumbai)fromFebruary29 –March4,2016. Luxembourg's former Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Mr. Jeannot Krecke led aneconomic delegation to India in April 2007 and from 9-14 January 2010. Luxembourg’s formerMinister of Budget and Treasury, Mr. Luc Frieden paid a visit to India in January 2007. Mr.Georges Wohlfart, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade visited India inOctober1995,May1996andApril 1997.
Grand Duke Henri had led an economic delegation to India in May 1995 when he was theCrown Prince. The then Grand Duke HRH Jean (father of the incumbent Grand Duke Henri)visitedIndiainMarch1983alongwiththeGrandDuchess,astheChairmanoftheInternationalOlympicAssociation.
The then Luxembourgian Prime Minister Mr.Jean ClaudeJunckerhadvisitedIndia inJanuary1999.
The President of the Chamber of Deputies of Luxembourg Mr. Laurent Mosar led a Parliamentary delegation to India from 28 February - 2 March 2012.
Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Mr. Jean Asselborn, met Minister of State forExternal Affairs, Shri. V. Muraleedharan on 16 December 2019 on the sidelines of the ASEMForeignMinister’sMeetinginMadridanddiscussedIndia-Luxembourgbilateralrelations.
Luxembourg has been supportive of India in the UN and acknowledges India’s contribution tothe functioning of UN. During the State visit of Rashtrpatiji Shri K.R. Narayanan in 1998,Luxembourg confirmed its support to India’s bid for a permanent membership to the UNSecurityCouncil.Inthiscontext,Luxembourgco-sponsoredtheG-4resolutionintheUNGAin2005.Luxembourg’ssupportforIndia’sclaimforpermanentmembershipofUNSChasbeen reiterated by the Luxembourgian leaders during several bilateral interactions. India andLuxembourg have been supportive of each other’s candidature for the UNSC non-permanentmembershiponareciprocalbasis.LuxembourgsupportedIndia’snon-permanentmembership to the UNSC for the period 2011-12 which India reciprocated by supportingLuxembourg’ssuccessful bidfortheperiodof2013-14.
India and Luxembourg have supported each other’s candidatures to the UN Human RightsCouncil(UNHRC)onareciprocalbasis.Indiawasre-electedfortheUNHRCterm 2015-17 and Luxembourg had supported India’s candidature for the UNHRC for the 2015-17 term. Luxembourg and India have both been elected to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for 2022-24.
Luxembourg had opposed embargoes against India in the aftermath of the nuclear tests of1998. As a Member State of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Luxembourg supported India-USNuclear Agreement for peaceful purposes in 2008 and was willing to go along with India’smembership of the NSGLuxembourg supported India’s membership of the MTCR regime.
Trade and investment comprise important element of India-Luxembourg relations. India andLuxembourg have a Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty (DTAA), a Social Security Agreement,andaCivilAviationAgreement,thatlaysthefundamentalbasisforenhancedbilateraleconomicandtradecooperation.
Bilateral Trade (2020): Total bilateral trade between Luxembourg and India totaled Euro 46.22 million (USD 52.69 million) registering a decrease of about 23% over the previous year. Luxembourg imports from India totaled Euro 6.28 million (USD 7.16 million). Luxembourg exports to India totaled Euro 39.94 million (USD 45.53 million). The major items of India’s exports to Luxembourg are Machinery and mechanical appliances, Plastics and articles and Chemical products. The major items of India’s imports from Luxembourg are Machinery and mechanical appliances, Base metal, Plastics and articles. Indian investment in Luxembourg in 2019: €9.0 million. FDI flows from Luxembourg to India from April 2000 to December 2020 stood at $ 3.339 billion making it the 16th largest investor in India.
TheIndia-Belgium-Luxembourg-EconomicUnionJointCommission(India-BLEUJCM)established in 1997 is the main forum for economic and commercial issues with Luxembourgand Belgium. The 17th India-Belgium-Luxembourg-EUJointCommission (India-BLEU JCM) was held on 16th September 2021 in virtual mode. Comprehensivediscussionsonarangeofissuesincludingbilateraltrade,investmentandeconomiccooperationwereheldontheoccasion.
Luxembourg being oneoftheworld’s most important financial centers, IndiancompaniesraisecapitalbyissuingGlobalDepositaryReceipts(GDRs)attheLuxembourgStockExchange.Lux GDRs India’ Index was launched in the Luxembourg Stock Exchange onJanuary 1, 2009. There are over 250 Indian issuers at Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Besides,Luxembourg based investment funds hold substantial banking and asset management marketshare in portfolio investments in India.
LuxSE is one of the leading exchange for debt listings from Indian issuers outside theirhome market. Since 2008, with the first Masala bond listing at Luxembourg Stock Exchange,thenumberofINRdenominated debt securitieshasbeen increasingsteadily.
India and Luxembourg have a longstanding cooperation in the Steel sector. LuxembourgCompany Paul Wurth has been in India for the last two decades and playing an important rolein upgrading the steel sector in India in collaboration with SAIL, TISCO, Jindal Steel, etc. Inthis regard, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on May 7, 2010, between SteelAuthority of India (SAIL), the Centre for Engineering & Technology (CET) and Paul Wurth,Luxembourg. MECON (Indian PSU) has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PaulWurthS.A.Luxembourgtoco-operateinthefieldofCokeOvenbatteries,CokeOvenmachines, StampCharging machines, CokeDry Quenching (CDQ) Plant, Coal ChemicalPlant (By- Product Plant) for the projects in India and in other countries. Union Minister ofSteel, Chaudhary Birender Singh visited Luxembourg in August 2016 and held meetings withPaulWurthandArcelorMittal.
Other Luxembourg based companies having business in India are: Arcelor Mittal,B Medicals System, John Zink Hamworthy Combustion, Ceratizit, Amer- Sil Ketex, IEE, Traxys, Tractel Secalt, Rotarex, Hitech, Bernanrd Massard, Bejimac, Boson Energy (involved in Clean Ganga Mission), Solar Cleano etc.
Some prominent Indian companies in Luxembourg are: TCS, Wipro, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Syncordis, Damco Solutions, Quantum Business Advisory etc.
Cooperation in space: On 7 November 2020, 4 nanosatellites of the Luxembourg headquartered Kleos Space SA were successfully put into orbit through the PSLV C49 mission of ISRO.
Culture: The Gandhi statue in Luxembourg’s Municipal Park is a work of art created by the Indian modernist artist Amar Nath Sehgal (1922-2007), who lived between India and Luxembourg for two decades. To mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, a special stamp was also released by Luxembourg.
In 2011 the Indian community in Luxembourg numbered around 569; by 2021, it has grown to 3354. Since 2018, the Indian diaspora in Luxembourg has grown by more than 20%. Many diaspora members work in IT and other service sectors. Number of PIOs/OCI card holders is around 550. Indian students (around 80) have also started coming to Luxembourg for research and post-doctoral studies. The Indian Association Luxembourg (IAL) was established in 1991, as a non-profit cultural organization to promote social interaction, encouraging understanding and acceptance of Indian culture in Luxembourg.
In March 2009, an Indian Business Chamber of Luxembourg (IBCL) was constituted to promote commercial relations between India and Luxembourg. The Chamber facilitates business activities and assists Indian companies in the setting up of business ventures in Luxembourg.