The focus of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s four-country tour of Europe—his first trip to the continent since Britain voted to leave the European Union—will be to strengthen business and economic ties.
In his three years in office, Modi has successfully courted foreign investors, talked up the India story and put out the message that India is open for business.
This time around, he is expected to work on a similar template. But he should also highlight what India does and can do for the world, especially at a time when a number of countries are looking inwards, and bilateral and multilateral relationships are becoming increasingly transactional.
Moreover, with India’s proposed free trade agreement with the European Union in cold storage, it is all the more important that New Delhi’s bilateral relations with the big European powers, including Russia, receive the prime minister’s full attention.
They are the ones that have traditionally anchored India’s policy towards Europe.