As Greece battles the economic crisis, the Greek ambassador to India, Ioannis E Raptakis on Monday said that the country is ready to do business with India and take advantage of the initiatives of the Narendra Modi-led government.“Traditionally, Greece and India have very friendly ties. We are ready to take advantage of the opportunities in India,” Ioannis E Raptakis, who is Greece’s envoy in India, told The Indian Express on Monday.
The bilateral trade between India and Greece is over $400 million, with the balance of trade in India’s favour.“Greece is ready to take advantage of the initiatives of the Modi government. A week or 10 days ago, some very prominent Greek companies wanted to export wine to India, and the response from the Indian side has been very positive,” he said.
While the main items of Greece’s exports to India are scrap (mostly aluminium, ferrous and lead), marble and granite, lubricating oils, calcium carbonate, greasywool, the main items of India’s exports are sesame seeds, oilcake, cashew, frozen fish and squid, coffee, and motorcars (cars & SUVs). However, lack of direct air link between India and Greece is seen as a major challenge between the two countries.
Talking about the ongoing situation in Greece, he said, “The solutions have to be found within the European family. That’s where the problem is, and that’s where the solution is.” The situation in Europe is fluid as the European leaders were discussing a response after Greek voters said a resounding “No” to further austerity measures in return for bailout funds in a referendum that could see the country crash out of the euro zone. Raptakis, who has been watching the developments back home, said that the government in Athens has got the mandate to keep the debt bill “viable”, and push the growth of the Greek economy.