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Under Modi, India Forging Strong Global Ties

At a time when the whole world is converging as a small community, maintaining good relations with neighboring and foreign countries becomes imperative. Mr Modi, ever since taking charge as Prime Minister of India, has given a new dimension to the way world looks at India. The whole native as well as foreign communities residing outside India are euphoric about the rise of India on the global stage. They are positively responding to the proactive efforts of Mr Modi to reach out to them and build lasting relationships. Foreign relations are critical for economic stability of any country, which the current government understands well. Mr Modi seems to have got priorities right. We provide a quick summary of Modi’s foreign visit and what these trips brought to India.

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[tii_spoiler title=”June 16- June 17: Bhutan” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Purpose: State Visit

  • Supposedly to check Bhutan-China relations that had recently been formalized.
  • Mr Modi also sought to build business ties, including a hydro-electric deal, and inaugurated the India-funded Supreme Court of Bhutan building.
  • He was also set to discuss the insurgency in North East India, and China
[/tii_spoiler] [tii_spoiler title=” July 13 – July 16: Brazil ” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Purpose: BRICS & state visit

  • The group have agreed to establish a financial institution rivaling the western dominated World Bank and IMF, The bank would be named the New Development Bank as suggested by the Indian side
  • The first president will be from India for a term of six years.
  • Also mention, an Indian to lead this bank initially. First President to be from India.
  • At the same time, the Ministry of External Affairs added Spanish to its list of available languages, which the Hindustan Times read as “indicative of the government’s intent to go beyond Europe, Asia and the US to forge diplomatic and trade ties with Latin American nations.”
[/tii_spoiler] [tii_spoiler title=”August 3 – August 4: Nepal ” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Purpose:  State Visit

  • The last visit of an Indian prime minister to Nepal was 17 years ago in 1997 by I. K. Gujral.
  • The talks with Nepal were focused on reviewing the 1950’s Treaty of Peace and Friendship, India-funded hydroelectricity projects in Nepal and other infrastructure projects in Nepal.
  • Modi announced a credit assistance programme of US$1 billion to Nepal and said Nepal can free India of its darkness with its electricity but he would prefer to buy it rather than take it for free.
  • He also told Nepali MPs he wanted to turn India’s “hostile borders benign and ultimately gateways for free trade and commerce…borders must be bridges not barriers.”
[/tii_spoiler] [tii_spoiler title=”August 30 – September 3: Japan ” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Purpose: State Visit

  • Elevating the already established strategic partnership to the “Special Strategic Global Partnership”
  • Official negotiations have progressed on the sale of US 2 amphibious aircraft for Indian Navy and the long pending civil nuclear agreements.
[/tii_spoiler] [tii_spoiler title=”September 26 – September 30: United States ” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Purpose: United States  General Debate of UN general Assembly and State Visit

  • He called for reform and expansion of United Nations Security Council including India’s long standing demand of a permanent membership.
  • Discussed about ISIS and its increasing threat and he urged for immediate implementation of ‘Comprehensive on International Terrorism’ by the UN and offered India’s pro-active role. He also discussed  Pakistan’s issue.
  • Modi commented briefly on climate change and use of clean energy. In this regards, he also asked world leaders and UN officials for observing Yoga Day, emphasizing the importance of incorporating Yoga in modern day life style.
  • “World has agreed for an international Yoga Day” june 21st.
[/tii_spoiler] [tii_spoiler title=”November 11 – November 13: Myanmar ” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Purpose: East Asia Summit, ASEAN

  • Establishing a special purpose vehicle for project financing, building information highways, and inviting ASEAN countries to participate in India’s ongoing economic transformation.
  • Modi also touched upon the concerns and issues around South China Sea in both the ASEAN-India Summit and the East Asia Summit, reiterating the importance for all actors in “following international law and norms on maritime issues.”
  • Modi and Burmese President Thein Sein both reviewed key ongoing joint infrastructure projects such as the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway and the Kaladan transport project.
[/tii_spoiler] [tii_spoiler title=”November 14 – November 18 : Australia” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Purpose: G20

  • Leaders of the world’s major economies agreed to pursue strategies that will lift the group’s GDP growth by at least 2% by 2018. They agreed “to monitor and hold each other to account” when it came to implementing commitments that would be vetted by international organisations.
  • The group will push for public and private sector investment in infrastructure and work to reduce the gender gap in the workforce by 25% through adding 100 million jobs for women by 2025.
  • Modi spoke forcefully about the repatriation of black money, which was echoed in the communique’s commitments on modernising tax rules and exchanging tax information among countries.
  •  India’s call to reduce the cost of transferring remittances was also adopted by the group, which said that it would take “strong practical measures” to reduce it to 5%.
  • The G20’s receptivity to India’s concerns was clearly shaped by the recent India-US deal to end their impasse over the Trade Facilitation Agreement negotiated at the WTO.
[/tii_spoiler] [tii_spoiler title=”November 19: Fiji ” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Purpose: State Visit

  • Fiji an important location for monitoring space and Fiji did host Indian scientists for tracking the Mars Mission, Mangalyaan for which Modi expressed his gratitude in his address to the Fijian Parliament and later in his special “mini-summit’ meeting with the leaders of the Pacific Islands, offered cooperation in use of space technology applications with them.
  • Now with India into the play, it means greater regional balance and better opportunities for the islanders as India has good relations with countries in the region including Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Naura. Fiji realises its geo-strategic significance for India too in the wake of China’s spread in the maritime zones of Asia-Pacific.
  • Modi offered India’s partnership in making Fiji’s “existing industries stronger and finding new opportunities for the youth”.
  • He announced doubling the scholarships and training slots for Fijians in India and also announced a visa on arrival facility for them. He offered India’s help in building a digital Fiji “to integrate Fiji into the global IT network”.
  • India and Fiji also signed three agreements during Modi’s visit with regard to:
  1. The exchange of land for a new chancery building in New Delhi
  2. Diplomatic exchanges to enable Fijian diplomats’ to train at the Indian government’s Foreign Service Institute
  3. Project financing for an electricity co-generation plant funded through the Exim Bank of India
  • As part of the agreements, India offered a 70 million dollar credit line to Fiji for a co-generation power plant and another five million dollar credit line for upgrading the sugar industry, besides a five million dollar grant to strengthen and modernise Fiji`s village, small and medium industries.
  • India Needs to Counter Growing Chinese Influence in Fiji
[/tii_spoiler] [tii_spoiler title=”November 25 – November 27  : Nepal” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Purpose: SAARC

  • India promised to launch a satellite for the region by SAARC Day in 2016, set up a Special Purpose facility in India to finance infrastructure projects in the region, ease business visas by launching a SAARC business traveller card, and provide immediate medical visas for patients and attendants.
  • A pact on energy was signed, which will enable greater cooperation in the power sector.
  • Pledged to improve transport connectivity between SAARC nations.
  • While Pakistan was keen in pushing for prominent role of observers mainly china, India responded by saying that economic cooperation between the existing members must be strengthened before expanding membership.
[/tii_spoiler] [tii_spoiler title=”March 10-March 11: Seychelles” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Purpose: State Visit

  • Signed four agreements for enhancing ties in renewable energy, hydro-graphic survey, electronic navigation and development of infrastructure on an island of the Indian Ocean island nation cluster.
  • Operationalised the Radar for Coastal Surveillance System, set up with Indian assistance on an island called ‘Assumption’, giving a considerable boost to maritime security cooperation. The operationalising of the system marks an important step in the maritime security cooperation between the two countries.
  • Mr Modi also announced of presenting a Dornier aircraft to Seychelles for Maritime security surveillance and said India would grant free visas for three months to the citizens of Seychelles and the facility of visa-on-arrival.
[/tii_spoiler] [tii_spoiler title=”March 11-March 13: Mauritius ” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Purpose: State Visit

  • India  offered $500 million concessional line of credit to Mauritius for key infrastructure projects as the two nations signed five pacts, including on ocean economy.
  • The MoU in the field of ocean economy “provides for mutually beneficial cooperation for exploration and capacity development in the field of marine resources, fisheries, green tourism, research and development of ocean technology, exchange of experts and other related activities”, said an official statement.
  • The MoU for improvement in sea and air transportation facilities at Agalega Island of Mauritius provides for setting up and upgradation of infrastructure for improving sea and air connectivity at the Outer Island of Mauritius.
  • Agreement  on import of Indian mangoes so that the people of  Mauritius  can also relish the flavour of the world-renowned Indian mangoes.
  • Both sides also inked an agreement on cultural cooperation for 2015-18.
  • Cooperation in the field of traditional system of medicine and homoeopathy.It also aims at promotion and popularisation of the various Indian traditional systems which fall under AYUSH.
[/tii_spoiler] [tii_spoiler title=”March 13- March 14 : SriLanka” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Purpose: State Visit

  • Focussed on strengthening bilateral ties between the two South Asian neighbours.
  • Financial assistance: India today committed further assistance of up to $318 million to Sri Lanka’s railway sector which will be over and above the figure of $1.6 billion which India has committed to the island nation in development assistance. India restored the southern Railway line of Srilanka and is working towards the restoration of northern Railway line.
  • Currency: The Reserve Bank of India and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka have agreed to enter into a Currency Swap Agreement of $ 1.5 billion, a measure that will help keep the Sri Lankan Rupee (SLR) stable.
  • Ocean Economy: Modi described ocean economy as a new frontier that holds enormous promise for both the sides.
  • Energy: Lanka IOC and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation agreed to jointly develop the Upper Tank Farm of the China Bay Installation in Trincomalee on mutually agreed terms.
  • Coal is another area of cooperation and India has hinted at early commencement of work on the ground in the Sampur Coal Power Project which would meet Sri Lanka’s energy needs.
  • People-to-People Contacts:
    • India will extend the facility of “Tourist Visa on Arrival – Electronic Travel Authorization” Scheme to Sri Lankan citizens from the Sinhala and Tamil New Year on 14 April 2015
    • Air India will soon start direct flights between New Delhi and Colombo
    • India will cooperate in developing a Ramayana Trail in Sri Lanka and a Buddhist Circuit in India
    • India will organize a Festival of India in Sri Lanka later this year. Sri Lanka is where Buddhism has truly flourished. India will be organising an exhibition showcasing  Buddhist heritage as part of this festival.
[/tii_spoiler] [tii_spoiler title=”April 9- April 12 : France” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” class=””]

Purpose: State Visit
India and France signed 17 agreements, including on the stalled nuclear project in Jaitapur in Maharashtra, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with French President Francois Hollande.

Click here for detailed list of agreements
[/tii_spoiler]

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