President’s Visit to Greece
The Indian President Mr. Ram Nath Kovind visited Greece on June 18-19, 2018.
He is the first Indian president to travel to Greece in 11 years
President Ram Nath Kovind to deliver India’s Europe policy in Athens
On June 19,2018, The President gave a speech at Hellenic Foundation for Europe and Foreign Policy in Athens.
- He emphasized India’s commitments towards rules-based international order and multipolarity in international governance.
- India’s role in connectivity and viable transparent and sustainable investments for developmental purposes.
India working towards becoming USD 5 trillion economy by 2025: President Ram Nath Kovind
On June 19,2018, The president highlighted investment opportunities in India that would work towards a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025.
- Accordingly India and Greece to collaborate in areas like infrastructure, supply chain, energy and services.
- HE invited the Indian diaspora to participate in the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas to be held in Varanasi from January 21 to 23 2019 and also visit Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra in New Delhi. Greece is home to a 12,000-strong Indian diaspora.
About Trade between Greece and India:
India-Greece bilateral trade stands at USD 530 million and some Indian companies are also present in the infrastructure, pharmaceutical and steel sectors in the central European nation.
India- Greek Business Forum meeting at Athens
On June 19, 2018, President Kovind addressed the India-Greek Businees forum meeting at Athens.
- It consisted of diplomats, policymakers and academics in Athens.
- The focus of the meeting was “India and Europe in a Changing World”.
- The event was organised by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) – a leading foreign policy think tank in Greece and in Europe.
- He said that since India-Greek bilateral trade at US Dollars 530 million is way below its potential, they should jointly work towards making it US Dollars 1 billion in next few years.
- India taking the lead urged Greek shipping, agriculture, food processing, tourism, infrastructure, technology, defence and Start-up companies to look at investment and technology tie ups.
- He urged participation of Greek Shipping Industry in India’s ambitious Sagarmala project.
India and Greece will strengthen the bilateral economic relationship by focusing on sectors like shipping, tourism and agriculture
On June 19, 2018, India and Greece decided on strengthening bilateral relations on sectors like shipping, tourism and agriculture.
- On his visit he talked about employment opportunities, Goods and Services tax (GST), and Mudra scheme, digitisation among others.
- He highlighted Greek assistance in fields of processing, shipping, food, and tech, in India which has created employment opportunities in the country.
- In Greece’s economic recovery India has had an important role.
India committed to broad-based trade agreement with EU
On June 19,2018, India is committed to broad based trade and investment agreement with the European Union.
It is the among India’s largest trading partners.
- Indian companies are significant investors in the EU, in industries like pharmaceuticals and automobile components.
- The negotiations for the BTIA have been held up since May 2013 and both the sides are yet to bridge substantial gaps on crucial issues.
- Since June 2007, both the sides have completed 16 rounds of talks and five stock-taking meetings on the proposed pact.
- EU has demanded significant duty cuts in automobiles,tax reduction on wines, spirits and dairy products, and a strong intellectual property regime.
- And India has demanded grant for data secure nation status as it has been bearing down on Indian IT companies wanting market access to the countries in the bloc.
President of India addresses a foreign policy think tank in Athens
On June 19,2018, addressing Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) – a leading foreign policy think tank in Greece and in Europe in the Business forum President heighted the following points:
- He said that India is a peace loving country and radicalisation and terrorism are pressing global concerns.
- India strives for justice and has assisted more than 40 countries and other developing countries, as per their priorities and in their crises.
- India wants to strengthen multilateral platforms such as the Financial Action Task Force and the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum.
On Energy Efficiency:
- India and the EU are united in their commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement.
- India is scaling up the share of non-fossil fuels from the current 31 per cent to 53 per cent by 2027.
- India has a target of 175 gigawatts of renewable energy, of which 100 gigawatts will be solar energy.
- The President invited Greece to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
- He applauded European Investment Bank to mobilise finance for affordable solar energy projects in ISA member countries
Visit to Suriname
On June 19,2018 the president departed for Suriname .
Prez Ram Nath Kovind reaches Paramaribo on 2nd leg of his 3-nation tour
On June 19,2018 He was received at the Paramaribo airport by Suriname President Desire Delano Bouterse.
- Mr Kovind was given a Guard of Honour which was followed by a cultural welcome.
- The President went to pay respects to Mahatma Gandhi at the Father of the Nation’s statue.
- He also visited the monuments of ‘Baba and Mai’ and ‘Mama Sranan’ during his stay in Suriname. commemorate the arrival of the first British Indian immigrants in Suriname.
President Ram Nath Kovind to observe Yoga Day in Suriname along with his counterpart
On June 21,2018, President Ram Nath Kovind will perform yoga asanas to observe the International Day of Yoga.
- They will be performing Yoga in Paramaribo, Suriname for the first time along with his Suriname counterpart Desire Delano Bouterse.
India to provide USD 51 million development aid to Suriname
On June 21,2018, The president announced extend a Line of Credit of USD 31 million and a concessional financing of USD 20 million to Suriname.
- This will strengthen their economic relations and development partnership.
- The financing of USD 20 million for setting up a solar project to provide clean energy to a cluster of 49 villages in Suriname.
- Out of the USD 31 million grant, USD 27.5 million is to support a power transmission project in PikinSaronarea and USD 3.5 million for maintenance of Chetak helicopters.
Other commitments in Suriname:
- The president also received the Ratification Instrument of Suriname joining the International Solar Alliance from Bouterse.
- India also signed an MOU to assist Suriname to establish a Centre of Excellence in information technology.
Visit to Cuba
On June 22,2018 The President of India Mr.Ram Nath Kovind arrived in Cuba .
President Kovind arrives in Cuba on final leg of his three-nation tour
After his visit to Greece and Suriname, He reached capital Havana after first arriving in Cuban city of Santiago.
- He was received in Santiago by Vice President of Cuba, Ms. Beatriz Johnson.
- He went to the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery where he witnessed Change of Guards ceremony.
- He paid respects to Jose Marti Memorial.
India, Cuba shake hands over biotechnology, renewable energy and traditional medicine
On June 23,2018, The president held talks with his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel to strengthen bilateral ties.
- India and Cuba agreed to enhance cooperation in biotechnology, renewable energy and traditional medicine.
- Cuba showed its support for India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
President Kovind Delivers Lecture at Havana University on ‘India and the Global South’
On June 23,2018, The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, delivered a lecture at Havana University in Cuba .
- The subject of the lecture was on – “India and the Global South”.
- It aimed at the the values of South-South Cooperation among the southern countries
- He also welcomed the move of United Nations for hosting the second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation in Buenos Aires in 2019.
- India offered a Line of Credit of US Dollars 75 million to support a 100 Mega Watt solar power project in Cuba.
- India also offered additional 10 slots to Cuba under the ITEC programme, taking the total annual scholarships given to Cuba to 70.
- The two countries agreed to work closely to develop a strong global response to fighting terrorism.
- They had called for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the United Nations.