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Business News/ News / World/  India, Greece aim to double trade, boost infra
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India, Greece aim to double trade, boost infra

India and Greece identified pharmaceuticals, ports, chemicals, shipping, food, communications and defence. The two nations also agreed to establish a joint working group on defence, maritime security, counter-terrorism and cybersecurity

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis. (PTI Photo) (HT_PRINT)Premium
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis. (PTI Photo) (HT_PRINT)

India and Greece aim to double their bilateral trade to nearly $4 billion by 2030 and enhance connectivity through infrastructure projects like the proposed India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (Imec).

“It is a matter of happiness that we are moving forward quickly towards the goal of doubling bilateral trade by 2030," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after discussions on Wednesday with his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis who is currently on a visit to India.

This is the first visit by a Greek premier to India since 2008.

The two countries identified pharmaceuticals, ports, chemicals, shipping, food, communications and defence as key sectors to help double their bilateral trade, which stood at $1.9 billion in 2022-23.

The partnership in shipping is particularly noteworthy, with India eyeing investment opportunities in Greek ports and seeking Athens’ support to modernize its shipping industry, as reported earlier by Mint.

Greece’s strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea makes it a major player in the global shipping industry. The country’s shipowners own roughly one-fifth of the world’s shipping fleet and almost 60% of the European Union’s fleet, according to the International Trade Administration, a US government agency.

The country is expected to be a key player in Imec, which will help facilitate export of Indian goods to the European markets.

“The India-Middle East-Europe Corridor is one such corridor that would strengthen this (India-Greece) connectivity. Given the strategic importance that Greece holds in terms of its location, the manner in which Greece could partner with the Imec was discussed," foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra said at a press conference in New Delhi.

The two nations also agreed to establish a joint working group on defence, maritime security, counterterrorism and cybersecurity, building on a history of defence collaboration. This includes recent military exercises and naval operations, underscoring the growing strategic partnership between India and Greece.

The Mediterranean, a crucial corridor for global trade, has seen instability due to civil wars in the Middle East and maritime disputes over the past decade. India's increased defence ties with Mediterranean nations, including Italy, Egypt, and recently Greece, indicate a strategic move to amplify its influence in the region.

The discussions also covered space, advanced technologies, and the initiation of direct flight connectivity. A migration and mobility partnership is expected to be signed soon, in line with similar agreements signed with the UK, Germany and other European countries.

Greece's Prime Minister Mitsotak is set to be the chief guest at the Raisina Dialogue, the Indian foreign ministry’s premier geopolitical conference, which kicks off on Wednesday. His visit underlines the deepening ties and shared strategic interests between India and Greece, setting the stage for a strengthened bilateral relationship.

 

 

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Published: 21 Feb 2024, 06:19 PM IST
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