India and Belarus have agreed to diversify economic linkages with a focus on building upon the natural complementarities between the two countries. They also agreed to encourage joint development and manufacturing in Defence Sector under Make in India Programme.
In his Press Statement after delegation level talks with the visiting Belarusian President Aleaxander Lukashenko, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, he found matching enthusiasm in President Lukashenku and desire to scale up the partnership for the benefit of people of India and Belarus.
He said, the discussions were wide-ranging and forward-looking and he exchanged views with President Lukashenko on bilateral issues and on regional and global developments. Both the leaders also reviewed the architecture of the partnership and considered ideas and initiatives for further expansion.
The Prime Minister said, there has been progress in discussion on utilising the 100 million dollars line of credit offered by India in 2015 in specific projects in Belarus. Mr Modi said, companies of India and Belarus have to evolve from a buyer-seller framework to deeper engagement as there are abundant business and investment opportunities in pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, heavy machinery and equipment sectors. He said, last year Indian companies made a positive beginning with three joint ventures in pharmaceuticals.
The Prime Minister said, India is negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union. He said, India is exploring setting up of a technology demonstration Centre in India to showcase Belarusian technology. Mr Modi said, India and Belarus will continue extending mutual support for each other in multilateral fora.
In his statement, President Lukashenko invited Indian companies to take benefit of the brilliant opportunities in his country. He said, India will play a big role in the multi-polar world. He said, Belarus and India are in the new stage of the cooperation.
The President said, he is visiting India for 3rd time and Belarus admires India and its political and economic successes. Earlier, the two leaders witnessed the exchange of ten MoUs in different areas like Oil and Gas, Youth Affairs and Sports, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, Agricultural Research and Education and Culture.
The two leaders also released commemorative postage stamp to mark the 25th anniversary of India-Belarus diplomatic relationships.
In the morning, Mr Lukashenko was given ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He also laid wreath at Mahatma Gandhi’s Samadhi, Rajghat. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and External Affairs Minister called on the visiting dignitary.
Mr Lukashenko’s visit is significant as it taking place in a year when Belarus and India are celebrating 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.