Brussels: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has met Prime Ministers of Greece and Portugal here and discussed ways to boost bilateral ties through greater economic cooperation and people to people exchanges. Naidu, who is here to attend the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, met on Thursday Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras and Portugese Prime Minister Antonio Costa and sought his collaboration to strenghten ties in areas of defence, space, infrastructure and startups.
Tsipras informed the Vice President about the economic conditions of Greece and the efforts taken by the government to restore stability to the financial system. “He commended that the growth of the Indian economy over the last few years has had a positive influence on the global economic situation,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
Tsipras encouraged Indian companies to consider investing in Greece, particularly in the port sector and extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit Greece at an opportune time, it said. The Vice President called for greater tourism flows between the two countries. He thanked Greece for its support for India’s membership to the various export control regimes and its candidature for a permanent seat in a reformed and expanded UN Security Council.
Two countries agreed to further strengthen the bilateral ties through greater economic and people to people exchanges. In his meeting with Naidu, Prime Minister Costa said he was happy with the ongoing positive momentum in the bilateral relations.
“He said that India-Portugal bilateral trade was on the rise and that Portuguese companies were encouraged by the potential of the Indian market,” the External Affairs Ministry statement said. Naidu thanked Costa for joining the Committee set up to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi worldwide.
He said India and Portugal should collaborate in new areas of cutting-edge technology. Naidu said defence, space, infrastructure and startups were areas that offer potential business opportunities. He also thanked Portugal for reiterating its support for India’s permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
Greece’s economy has stabilised and grown slowly after the subsequent Great Recession and Greek government-debt crisis that plunged the economy into a sharp downturn. It asked for a financial rescue by the European Union and International Monetary Fund. Bailouts – emergency loans aimed at saving sinking economies – began in 2010. Greece received three successive packages, totalling 289 billion euros, but they came with the price of drastic austerity measures.