How do you see this victory of Narendra Modi and BJP? And how will it affect the Indian economy?
We want India to do well. This election has ensured political stability for the next five years. A decisive leadership will mean tough decisions, and no good governance is possible without tough decisions. The BJP-led NDA has a clear mandate to take bold and innovative decisions. While international politics is not a zero-sum game and India will join other powers economically, the European Union has the potential to grow in India. The EU is already the single largest trading partner as a bloc, and the single largest source of FDI for India as a bloc. We are ready to meet India’s demand for technology and funding.
You contacted Modi during his tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister. How do you rate him as a leader in modern India?
As Portugal’s former Secretary of State for Foreign and Cooperation, I have been in contact with various world leaders and I can say that Mr. Modi is one of the best. He has a clear vision and clear vision of governance and this is what India needs. He also has a very clear idea about the challenges facing the country. He is a good listener and can enrich a good speaker and discussion. No Prime Minister would want communal strife in his record and I am sure he would not allow any communal tension in India. Strengthening the economy is his priority and that is his vision.
Where will India-EU relations go from here? What are the priority areas of India-EU and what is the future of free trade agreement that has been under discussion for many years?
Negotiators from India and the European Union are working to end the FTA. The proposed deal would lead to greater openness. In the past, the EU has discussed the FTA with the BJP. We take Modi’s speech on economic issues on February 26 as positive. I have no doubt that the FTA will benefit India. We look forward to progress in the FTA before the next India-EU summit in Brussels.