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International Relations

President’s Three Nations Visit

  • 18 Sep 2019
  • 5 min read

The President of India recently concluded his visit to the three nations namely, Iceland, Switzerland, and Slovenia.

India-Iceland

Historical Background

  • India and Iceland’s friendship is based on the shared values and mutuality of interests.
    • A string of high-level visits between the two nations since 2000, imparted a new dynamism to the bilateral relations.
  • Iceland was the first Nordic country that publicly extended support to India's candidature for permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
  • Iceland was one of the countries that co-sponsored the resolution at the UN to declare June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.

Key Highlights of the Visit

  • India and Iceland signed and exchanged three agreements in the fields of,
    • Fisheries collaboration,
    • Cultural cooperation, and
    • Visa waiver for the holders of diplomatic and official passport.
  • Culturally, India’s long-pending demand for setting up a Hindi Chair at the University of Iceland was fulfilled.
    • The Hindi language will now be taught at the University of Iceland.
  • On the economic front, with India’s aim to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25, India’s transformative growth and Iceland’s technological know-how can add immense value.
    • In the purview of Climate Change, India wants to combine its economic progress with clean technology.
      • In this regard, Iceland’s pioneering efforts in green technologies, be it carbon capture, energy-efficient buildings or waste-to-wealth projects can leverage significant benefits to India.
  • The future areas of cooperation between India and Iceland lie in the field of pharma, healthcare and biotech space, finance, hospitality and tourism services.

India-Switzerland

Historical Background

  • India is one of Switzerland's principal partners in Asia. The two countries signed the Treaty of Friendship in the year 1948.
  • Since then, Switzerland and India have signed numerous bilateral agreements that cover a wide range of areas such as trade, education and vocational training, visas, migration, air traffic, investment, finance, taxation, and scientific and technological cooperation.

Key Highlights of the Visit

  • The Indian President addressed the Federal Council of Switzerland (which is the highest executive authority of Switzerland) and unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Villeneuve, Switzerland.
  • Both the countries agreed to have their first automatic exchange of information on tax matters.
  • Switzerland is the largest exporter to India from Europe.
    • The bilateral trade volume stands at around US$ 19 billion and India is committed to expand the trading ties further.
  • The future opportunities lie in the field of capital, technology, science and skills, inter alia for mutual benefit.

India-Slovenia

Historical Background

  • The Republic of Slovenia attained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. And, India recognized the independent state of Slovenia in 1992 and supported its candidature for the membership at the UN.
  • Since then both the nations share cordial bilateral relations.
  • The balance of trade between the two nations is tilted in favour of India.

Key Highlights of the Visit

  • This is the first-ever presidential visit from India to Slovenia.
  • India and Slovenia signed and exchanged seven MoUs and Programmes of Cooperation in the fields of Investment, Sports, Culture, River Rejuvenation (Clean Ganga Mission), Science & Technology and Standards.
  • India sought for Slovenia's support in its bid to get permanent membership at the UN Security Council and the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
  • The future cooperation possibilities between the two countries lie in the fields of high technology (especially clean technology), robotics and artificial intelligence, start-ups and innovation sectors.

Source: PIB

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