Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said his four-nation tour of Germany, Spain, Russia and France beginning tomorrow is aimed at boosting India’s economic engagement with these nations and inviting more investment. In the first leg of his six-day trip, he will visit Germany, where he will hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel under the framework of India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC). He will also call on German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Modi said he and Merkel will “chart out a future roadmap of cooperation with focus on trade and investment, security and counter-terrorism, innovation and science and technology, skill development, urban infrastructure, railways and civil aviation, clean energy, development cooperation, health and alternative medicine.”
Describing Germany as a valuable partner, the prime minister said, “German competencies fit well with my vision for India’s transformation.” In Berlin, Modi and Merkel will also interact with top business leaders of both the countries to further strengthen the trade and investment ties.”I am confident that this visit will open a new chapter in our bilateral cooperation with Germany and further deepen our Strategic Partnership,” he said in a Facebook post.
On Tuesday, Modi will travel to Spain for an official visit, the first by an Indian prime minister in almost three decades. He will call on King Felipe VI and hold talks with President Mariano Rajoy. “We will discuss ways to enhance bilateral engagement, especially in the economic sphere, and cooperation on international issues of common concern, particularly in combating terrorism,” he said. The prime minister said there is significant potential for deepening bilateral trade and investment ties. “We seek active participation of Spanish industry in various Indian projects including infrastructure, smart cities, digital economy, renewable energy, defence and tourism,” he added.
He will also meet top CEOs of the Spanish industry and encourage them to partner in the ‘Make in India’ initiative. “I look forward to their valuable recommendations for strengthening India-Spain economic partnership,” he wrote.
From Spain, the prime minister will travel to St. Petersburg in Russia from May 31 to June 2 for the 18th India-Russia Annual Summit. “…I will be conducting detailed discussions with President Putin to take forward our dialogue from the last Summit in Goa in October 2016,” he said.
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The two leaders will also be interacting with CEOs from the two countries.On June 2, Modi and Putin will address the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) where India is the ‘guest country’. “In a first meeting of its kind, I will also have the opportunity to engage with Governors from various Russian regions to further broad base bilateral cooperation and more actively involve States/Regions and other diversified stakeholders,” he said.
At the beginning of his visit, he will go to Piskarovskoye Cemetery to pay homage to those who perished during the siege of Leningrad. He will also visit the world famous State Hermitage Museum and the Institute of Oriental manuscripts. “I greatly look forward to my visit to St. Petersburg in this special year for the bilateral relationship as both countries celebrate the 70th Anniversary of our diplomatic relations,” Modi said. In the last leg of the tour, he will visit France from June 2 to 3 for an official meeting with the newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron. “France is one of our most important Strategic Partners. I look forward to meeting President Macron and have discussions on issues of mutual interest,” Modi said. “I would be exchanging views with the French President on important global issues including UN Security Council reforms and India’s permanent membership of the UN Security Council, India’s membership of the various multilateral export control regimes, counter-terrorism cooperation, collaboration on climate change and International Solar Alliance,” he added.
France is India’s 9th largest investment partner and a key partner in its development initiatives in the area of defence, space, nuclear and renewable energy, urban development and railways. “I am committed to substantially strengthening and advancing our multi-faceted partnership with France,” the prime minister said.