Spain and India PMs meet to boost economic, security ties

Prime Narendra Modi and his counterpart Mariano Rajoy underscored the key role both nations play in addressing global challenges such as fight against terrorism.

The next day, he will attend, for the first time, the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, a business event. The other MoUs are between Foreign Service Institute and Diplomatic Academy of Spain and others for transfer of sentenced persons and cooperation in organ transplantation.

During his stay here, India and Spain signed seven agreements, including those on cyber security and technical cooperation in civil aviation.

The deadlock over FTA between India and the European Union (EU) was also highlighted at the summit, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and senior business leaders urging the Prime Minister for a speedy conclusion to the FTA. The two nations are targeting to raise the trade to $ 30 billion in the next five years.

"The symbols of our contemporary partnership today include Indian investments in Sakhalin 1, and now the Vankor and Taas-Yuryakh oil fields, the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam and the Brahmos Joint Venture Project", Modi said.

In his speech, Rajoy praised the Indian Prime Minister for the "broad raft of economic reforms" he is pushing through in his country to ensure "good governance" and "a more developed and knowledge-based economy". "We would like to expand the cooperation between India's states and Russia's regions, especially, the Russian Far East", Modi said. "We want to attract tourism, infrastructure, energy and defence firms", he told the newspaper. The two leaders will also release a vision statement for relations between the two countries. "India and Germany have both in our blood and we will move together in that direction", Modi said at the conclusion of the IGC, a format he likened to the Pragati meeting he holds in Delhi.

Modi said he was personally committed to helping foreign companies set up operations in India.

The two countries are expected to sign many agreements pertaining to various domains such as railways, science & technology, cultural exchanges, etc. "But of course, given their wide interest and given the position of India and Spain on number of global matters of importance and the emphasis on economic cooperation, I think the meeting between Prime Minister and King Phillip went of very well", Bagley said.

In the first time in almost 30 years, an Indian Prime Minister visited Spain when PM Narendra Modi landed in Spain's capital Madrid on Tuesday, aiming at boosting bilateral economic engagement between the nations.

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