These were very busy days so I unfortunately did not have the time to blog. On Monday, the last of my four days in India, I met with Maharashtra's Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in Mumbai (the capital of Maharashtra) to discuss the strengthening economic ties between his state and the European Union. I also gave a speech at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry where I highlighted the benefits of free trade, the efforts the European Union makes to evolve stronger from the crisis and the possibility for more foreign direct investments from Indian companies in the EU. During this trip I could see the astounding development of the Indian economy and society over the last decades and when we overcome the last obstacles for our joint free trade agreement, there is a lot of potential for very beneficial relations.
The last two days I was in Bejing where European Council President van Rompuy and I met with Prime Minister Wen for the EU-China Summit yesterday. The relations between our two economic areas have developed at an impressive pace in recent years and I know that we both know that in an interconnected world our economic future is closely tied - so we also need to take measures that are beneficial for both sides. This is also what we discussed with President Hu with whom we met today. In sum, this was quite a successful summit and after a speech at the Euro campaign event launch - opening an exhibition about our common currency and the history of the European Union - it was finally time to return to Europe after this rather exhausting trip through Asia.