1. Narendra Modi in Spain: First Indian PM after Rajiv Gandhi to visit Madrid in 30 years

Narendra Modi in Spain: First Indian PM after Rajiv Gandhi to visit Madrid in 30 years

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the Spanish capital Madrid on the second leg of his six-day, four-nation tour. This is the first Indian PM's visit to Spain in almost 30 years after the visit of then PM Rajiv Gandhi in the year 1988.

By: | Published: May 31, 2017 12:28 PM
PM Modi’s visit to Spain will be the first visit by an Indian prime minister since 1988. (Source: MEAIndia)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the Spanish capital Madrid on the second leg of his six-day, four-nation tour. This is the first Indian PM’s visit to Spain in almost 30 years after the visit of then PM Rajiv Gandhi in the year 1988. Modi tweeted in English and Spanish after landing in Madrid. He wrote, “Landed in Spain, marking the start of a very important visit aimed at improving economic and cultural relations with Spain.” This visit is aimed at boosting bilateral economic engagement with them and inviting more investment in India. Modi will hold discussions with his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy on ways to deepen bilateral engagement, including in the high-tech sector. Modi will also call on King Felipe VI of Spain. Spain is the 12th largest investor in India with $2.32 billion in foreign direct investments, according to government data.

PM Modi will then go on to have a round-table interaction, called the India-Spain CEOs Forum, with leading Spanish business leaders to invest in India as part of his ‘Make in India’ initiative. As Modi posted on his official Facebook page, there is significant potential for deepening bilateral trade and investment ties. Infrastructure, smart cities, digital economy, renewable energy, defence and tourism are some of the many sectors that can see India-Spanish cooperation. Combating terrorism will be another keystone discussion between the leaders.

There are also quite a lot of agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs) pending between India and Spain. Many of these MoUs could be signed during this trip. The economic ties between the two countries are interesting. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, bilateral trade between India and Spain last year stood at $5.22 billion. While India’s exports to Spain stood at $3.83 billion, the Spanish exports, stood at $1.39 billion, meaning a trade surplus. According to PIB data, the key export items to Spain from India are textiles and garments, organic chemicals, automotive components, marine products, leather goods, and iron and steel products. In terms of imports we get machines and mechanical appliances, vehicles and automobiles, plastic products, electrical appliances, rubber and rubber products and olives/olive oil.

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