Kovind holds meetings with Greek leaders, calls for expanding trade

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Athens, June 18 (IANS) President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday met his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos on his state visit and highlighted Indias commitment to expand and diversify trade and investment engagement between the two nations.

India also thanked Greece for its support for India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council and for membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Kovind, who was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Presidential Mansion prior to the meeting, also informed the Greek delegation that India had accepted the invitation to participate in the prestigious Thessaloniki International Fair, 2019 as the “Honoured Country”.

During his meeting with the Greek President and the delegation level talks, he emphasized the age-old civilisational ties between the two nations.

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“India and Greece shared values of democracy, rule of law and multi-cultural ethos, and these have added depth to our bilateral and multilateral engagements.”

He also expressed that India was keen to deepen the ongoing co-operation with Greece especially in political and economic fields.

According to an official statement, Kovind highlighted India’s commitment to promote trade and investment engagement between the two nations.

He stated that bilateral trade between the two countries of $530 million was below potential and more efforts must be made to expand and diversify bilateral trade.

Kovind also apprised the Greek delegation of the steps taken by India to improve business climate in the country and said:”India wished to collaborate with the Greek companies to become partners in the growth story of India.”

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“In particular, India could benefit from expertise of Greece in areas such as shipping, food and dairy, and tourism. On the other hand Indian companies especially in the areas of pharma, IT, agriculture, real estate, infrastructure and start-ups, are keen to establish presence in Greece,” he said.

On cultural ties, the President said: “As two ancient civilisations that have interacted with each other for centuries, we have a deep cultural understanding of each other.”

He also said that the two countries should work together to develop Greek and Indian traditional medicinal practices as healthcare options for people.

After the delegation level talks, the President also met the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the two leaders discussed different issues of mutual interest. Later, Leader of Opposition Kyriakos Mitsotakis also called on Kovind.

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Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed- between Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and National Quality Infrastructure System/Hellenic Organization for Standardization on Cooperation in the Fields of Standardization; between Foreign Service Institute (FSI), India and Diplomatic Academy, Greece on Cooperation in Diplomatic Training; and the Programme of Cultural Cooperation for the year 2018-2020.

–IANS

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