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June 2017 - Bilateral

  • India, Portugal inaugurate International Start Up hub
    PM Narendra Modi on arrived in Portugal's capital Lisbon on the first leg of his three-nation visit. During his one day visit to the nation, PM Modi met his Portugese Counterpart Antonio Costa and discussed ways to further intensify bilateral relations. 

    PM Modi also visited a temple in Lisbon and offered prayers. Interacting with people of the Indian community, the Prime Minister hailed the contribution of Indian diaspora in maintaining diversity of culture across the world. 

  • India, US vow to strengthen efforts to fight terrorism
    India and the United States on 27th June agreed to enhance cooperation in fighting the menace of terrorism, extremism and radicalisation. In a joint press statement at the White House following delegation level talks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump reiterated their commitment to eliminating terrorism and their safe havens. 

    Mr Modi said, the two countries will enhance intelligence exchange in respect of terrorist organisations. Mr Modi said, India considers US a valued partner in its flagship programmes. He said, trade, commerce and investment are key areas of cooperation. 

    The Prime Minister said, the convergence between his vision of a New India and President Trump’s vision of Make America Great Again will open new vistas of cooperation. He said, peace and stability in the Indo- Pacific region is the main aim of strategic cooperation between the two countries. In his address, US President Donald Trump said, both the US and India have been affected by the evils of terrorism and the radical ideology that drives them. 

  • India, China hold talks for strengthening strategic partnership, mutual dialogue
    India on 18th June said it looks forward to strengthen its strategic partnership and mutual dialogue with China as the two sides held talks in Beijing. 

    Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh met Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the BRICS foreign ministers' meeting being held in Beijing to finalise the agenda for this year's BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit to be held in September in China's Xiamen city. 

    They discussed steps to strengthen strategic relations on the directions laid down by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during their meeting at Astana recently. 

    Mr. Wang referred to the fruitful and constructive meeting between Mr. Xi and Mr. Modi on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) last week at Astana. 

  • Afghan President inaugurates first Afghanistan-India air corridor
    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on 19th June inaugurated the first Afghanistan-India air corridor at the Kabul International Airport. The corridor is a direct route that will bypass Pakistan and is meant to improve commerce in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a mountainous landlocked country and all imports and exports depend on neighbouring countries. 

  • India, Russia identify key areas to boost cooperation in Science and Technology sector
    India and Russia have identified key areas to bolster co-operation in the science and technology sector, including space and marine technologies, IT and deep ocean engineering. The areas were chosen at the first meeting of India-Russia Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. 

    The meeting was co-chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitryi Rogozin . 

    Moscow has launched a "Do It In Russia" initiative to promote local manufacturing and technology development. Mr Jaitley will now travel to Moscow to co-chair the India-Russia Inter Governmental Commission on Military Technological Cooperation to be held tomorrow. 

  • Cabinet nod for MoU on space science cooperation between India, Armenia
    The Cabinet on 22nd June approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space between India and Armenia that was signed in April during the visit of the Vice-President there. 

    This MoU shall enable the areas of cooperation such as space science, technology and applications including remote sensing of the earth, satellite communication and satellite based navigation, space science and planetary exploration, use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system, and application of space technology. 

    Armenia had expressed interest in cooperating with India in the area of space. Accordingly, a template of framework MoU for space cooperation was provided for further processing at government level. 

    The Cabinet also approved signing an MoU for cooperation in traditional systems of medicine and homoeopathy between Ministry of AYUSH and the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine of the Government of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. 

  • Science and technology fund, start-up hub among 11 deals signed by India, Portugal
    India and Portugal on 24th June launched the India-Portugal International Startup Hub (IPISH) and also announced a four million euro joint fund to bolster research in science and technology as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held in-depth talks with his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa. The talks also focussed on cooperation in areas like counter-terrorism, space and climate studies. 

    In a joint address to the media after the signing of 11 bilateral agreements, Modi and his counterpart said the two countries have made substantial progress in their relations in the past six months. 

    The agreements signed included cooperation in outer space, double taxation avoidance, nano technology, improving cultural ties, youth and sports, higher education and scientific research, and Portugal-India business hub and Indian Chamber of Commerce. 

    The platform has been initiated by Startup India and supported by the Commerce & Industry Ministry and Startup Portugal to create a mutually supportive entrepreneurial partnership. Modi is the first Indian prime minister in Portugal for a bilateral visit. He has said his one-day visit to the country will further strengthen relations between India and Portugal. 

  • India, Israel set to expand defence ties
    As India and Israel celebrate 25 years of their diplomatic relations, Israel has quietly emerged as one of the largest and trusted suppliers of defence equipment to the Indian armed forces, which rely heavily on imports. 

    After protracted negotiations, the two countries are close to concluding a deal for Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missiles. This will be the latest in a series of big-ticket defence deals approved recently. 

    In a related development, Navy Chief and Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee Admiral Sunil Lanba left on a four- day visit to Israel on 11th June to continue the “high-level defence exchanges.” The purchase of Spike missiles was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in October 2014, but negotiations on the contract ran into trouble over cost and technology transfer. 

    The Rs. 3,200-crore deal includes 8,000-plus missiles, 300-plus launchers and technology transfer. The deal is likely to expand as the Army intends to equip its 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanised regiments with new missiles. 

    After New Delhi established full diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv on January 29, 1992, Israel has made inroads into the Indian defence sector, earning praise for reliability and technological sophistication. It is well entrenched in the areas of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, air defence systems, special forces equipment and electronic warfare equipment. 

    According to information presented in Parliament by Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre in March, during 2015-16 and 2016-17 (till February 2017), 37 contracts have been signed with vendors of various countries for capital procurement of defence equipment. Seven of them are with Israel, second only to the U.S. with which nine contracts have been signed. 

  • India, South Korea agree to more investments, fight protectionism
    India and Korea on 14th June decided to stimulate investments to push infrastructure development and bilateral trade as they sought to ward off threats of rising protectionism. 

    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley co-chaired the fifth India-Korea Financial Dialogue in Seoul with South Korea Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon and reviewed the international economic situation, and economic ties. 

    The two countries also signed agreements to establish $9 billion in concessional credit and $1 billion in Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding for infrastructure development projects in India. 

    Jaitley is on a four-day official visit to Korea. As the world's fastest growing major economy, India offers Korea important opportunities to deploy its capital and technologies in India. 

    South Korea's interest in finding new openings to diversify its economic partnerships offers India great opportunities, the statement added. 

    The signing of the credit and ODA agreement was to implement a decision taken during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to South Korea in May 2015. Both the ministers also agreed to consider deploying part of this fund towards the smart city projects in India. 

    They also agreed to establish a mechanism at senior official levels, to identify good infrastructure projects in India, to draw upon these funds. 

  • Switzerland ratifies automatic exchange of information with India
    Switzerland has ratified automatic exchange of information (AEOI) sharing with India and 40 other countries to facilitate immediate sharing of details about suspected black money. It, however, sought strict adherence to confidentiality and data security laws. The Swiss Federal Council, the country's top governing body, in a statement said that the protocol will be implemented next year and the first set of information is planned in 2019. 

    As per the draft notification approved by the council in its meeting on 16th June, the decision is not subject to any referendum -- which means there should be no further procedural delay in its implementation. 

    The issue of black money has been a matter of big debate in India and Switzerland is perceived as one of the safest havens for the illicit wealth allegedly stashed abroad by Indians. 

    The decision follows hectic parleys between India and Switzerland for introduction of the AEOI on tax matters under the guidance of G20, OECD and other global organisations. 

    Last November India and Switzerland signed an agreement for the implementation of AEOI. The joint declaration was signed between the two countries amid the Indian government stepping up efforts to clamp down on the menace of black money. 

  • Cabinet approves signing of agreement on transfer of sentenced persons of India and Somalia
    Cabinet on 7th June approved signing and subsequent ratification of agreement on transfer of sentenced persons between India and Somalia. This will facilitate Indian prisoners imprisoned in Somalia to be near to their families while serving remaining part of their sentence and shall facilitate their social rehabilitation. 

  • PM Modi, German Chancellor discuss trade, investment 
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has discussed issues relating to trade, investment and security with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on 29th May. 

    They also reviewed on role of both the nations in maintaining peace in South Asia region. According to Indian Ambassador to Germany Mukta Dutta Tomar, the Chancellor appreciated the fast track mechanism for the FDI projects which had earned upto two billion dollars for the past two years. 

    The two leaders also discussed the issues relating to BREXIT, Afghanistan’s reconciliation process and other issues. 

    Modi and Ms Merkel also discussed issues of terrorism and radicalisation. 

    They also reviewed on role of both the nations in maintaining peace in South Asia region. 

  • India, Spain ink 7 pacts, address terrorism challenges
    India and Spain on 30th May stressed that there should be “zero tolerance” to terrorism and called on the international community to end “selective or partial” approaches in combating the menace, which poses the gravest threat to international peace and stability. 

    After the talks, the two sides signed seven agreements, including pacts on transfer of sentenced persons and visa waiver for holders of diplomatic passports. Five agreements were signed between the two countries on cooperation in organ transplantation, cyber security, renewable energy, civil aviation and one between India’s Foreign Service Institute and Diplomatic Academy of Spain. 

    Spain is the 12th largest investor in India and the seventh largest trading partner in the European Union. There are more than 200 Spanish companies in India that are actively involved in road construction projects, railways, wind power, water desalination, defence and smart cities. 

    There are more than 40 Indian companies in Spain, in the fields of technology, pharmaceuticals, automotive and energy. Two-way trade totalled $5.27 billion in 2016. 

  • Russia supplies S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems to India
    Russia is all set to supply S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems to India and both sides are discussing the terms of the sale. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has said that the pre-contract preparations are underway on the supplies of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile complexes to India. 

    In October, 2015, India had announced a deal on the Triumf air defence systems from Russia, worth over five billion US dollars, and collaborate in making four state of art frigates besides setting up a joint production facility for making Kamov helicopters. 

    The deals were announced following talks held between Prime Minister Modi and Russian President Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit held in Goa. The S-400 Triumf long-range air defence missile system has the capability to destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km. 

  • India, France to join hands on Paris pact
    India and France on 3rd June vowed to work together for the implementation of the landmark Paris climate agreement and fight the challenge posed by terrorism, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron
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