By Penelope Galliou

The trip of the Greek Prime Minister, who is making an official visit to the country today and tomorrow (February 21-22), aims to strengthen Greece’s economic and trade relations with India and attract new investments.

A few months after the official visit of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in Athens last August, the Kyriakos Mitsotakis seeks to highlight Greece as a strategic, geopolitical and commercial gateway to Europe, for the most populous country on the planet, but also to further strengthen the political, economic and investment relations of the two countries.

For her Indiawhich has a population of more than 1.4 billion, is the fifth largest economy in the world and at the same time is the fastest growing country in the last two years, Greece is the closest country, which can be a gateway to Europe and give impetus to its further strengthening in the international arena.

The Greek Prime Minister will be officially received by Mr. Modi this morning at 10 (local time) while in the afternoon he will be the guest of honor and keynote speaker at 9th Raisina Dialogue 2024, India’s most important multilateral Conference on geopolitics and economics, indicative of the importance attached by the Indian side to the Prime Minister’s visit. It is a high-level forum attended by political, business and media figures, and is often referred to as the “little Davos of the East”.

Greece and India are connected by historical ties and their cooperation has strengthened in recent years, especially in the fields of defense and culture, but there is still a wide field of synergies. This field of cooperation is sought to be expanded even more, and in its next station Kyriakou Mitsotakis, who tomorrow, will go to Mumbai, where he will have meetings with representatives of Indian companies and groups, while he will welcome the Greek-Indian Business Forum. Deputy Foreign Minister Kostas Fragogiannis will already be there, together with the representatives of approximately 70 Greek businesses.

The Greek businessmen together with Mr. Fragogiannis will then go to the city of Bangalore, the cradle of high technology in India, seeking to attract new investments and capital to Greece.

It is recalled that with the Joint Declaration on upgrading relations to strategies last August, the two Prime Ministers of Greece and India agreed to work towards expanding bilateral cooperation at the political, security and economic levels with the aim of doubling bilateral trade in the coming years. The goal is also to deepen and intensify the synergies of the two countries in the fields of defense, shipping, science, technology, cyberspace, education, culture, tourism and agriculture.

In the economic and business part, the first openings were made last August during the visit of the Prime Minister of India to Athens, where the first opportunity was given to make contacts between Indian and Greek companies in order to explore investment opportunities and build relationships and partnerships. It is indicative that, although Greek exports to India increased in 2022, they hardly correspond to 1 euro per Indian, while India has an annual outbound tourism of 40 million high-income people, a field where there is great room for growth and great opportunities, especially if take into account (IMF) India’s growth rate of 6.3% in 2024 as well.

The spectrum and perspectives of cooperation and synergies are very broad, both for a greater presence of Indian groups in Greece, especially in the fields of infrastructure (ports, airports), high technology, renewable energy sources, tourism, and in the field of aid of the presence of Greek companies in India, especially in the food, medicine and shipping sectors.

High on the bilateral agenda is the geopolitical dimension of the visit and overall strengthening of the ties between the two countries. “As historically maritime nations, we have long shared common views on the importance of ensuring freedom of navigation, maritime security and full respect for the International Law of the Sea, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) , which we have both signed,” Kyriakos Mitsotakis had emphasized after the August meeting with his Indian counterpart in Athens. He had pointed out that “our two countries share common democratic values ​​and a firm commitment to International Law, including the Law of the Sea. We also agree on the need to protect the rules-based international order and promote world peace.” , stability and growth”.