President Pranab Mukherjee concluded two-nation visit to Sweden and Belarus

Jun 4, 2015 12:01 IST

The President of India Pranab Mukherjee concluded his two-nation visit to Sweden and Belarus.

He visited Sweden from 31 May to 2 June and Belarus from 2 June to 4 June 2015 and these visits were first ever by an Indian President to either country.

During the visit, the President held discussions with his counterparts of both the countries, admistrators and business leaders and concluded many agreements.

Takeaways from Sweden visit

• The focus of the visit was to strengthen bilateral economic ties and to provide impetus to cooperation in specific areas of priority.
• Six intergovernmental agreements were concluded, covering cooperation in the fields of urban development, medium and small-scale enterprises, polar research, civil nuclear research and medicine.
• Seventeen Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were signed between educational institutions, think tanks and the Chambers of Commerce of the two countries.
• Sweden expressed its support for India’s claim for permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC).
• Sweden expressed its support to India’s membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
• India formally conveyed its decision to grant Swedish nationals e-tourist visa. This, along with signature of an Agreement on Diplomatic visa waiver took place.
• Sweden expressed its support to India’s membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
• Both the countries agreed to enhance bilateral trade to 5 billion US dollars by 2018.
• The President delivered a public lecture on the contemporary relevance to global peace of Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi at Uppsala University, one of the oldest universities of Europe founded in 1477.

Takeaways from Belarus visit

• Both the countries agreed to engage on a four-fold framework for enhanced cooperation comprising regular political and institutional dialogue, rapid increase in commercial and economic interaction, a paradigm shift in defence cooperation towards joint research, design and manufacturing as well as wide-ranging expansion of our S&T, educational, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
• Belarus expressed its support for India’s claim for permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC).
• Five agreements and MOUs were signed, covering cooperation in textiles, standardization, capital markets and broadcasting. A focused and substantive Roadmap for India-Belarus Cooperation was also agreed, which identifies specific areas for closer interaction in future.
• The President formally conveyed the decision of Government of India to grant Market Economy Status to Belarus, which had been a long-standing request of the Belarus side. This decision would open up new avenues for bilateral trade as well as facilitate the integration of Belarus in international trade structures.
• Agricultural machinery, mining equipment, heavy construction equipment and defence were identified as potential areas for manufacturing ventures in India.
• Both countries agreed to increase the bilateral trade 1 billion US dollars by 2020.
• India agreed to extend a new Line of Credit of 100 million US dollars to Belarus for implementation of mutually agreed joint projects, thereby further deepening the economic ties.
• Seven MOUs were signed between Indian and Belarusian Universities and Institutes.
• The President, unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the prestigious Belarus State University campus. The University conferred upon him Professor Honoris Causa.

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