President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday promoted stronger trade ties between India and Croatia while addressing a joint business forum during his official visit to the Balkan country.
Amongst those present at the India-Croatia Business Forum were his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Croatian Chamber of Economy president Luka Burilovic.
A large business delegation, comprising 30 Indian companies, accompanied Kovind as he became the first President of India to travel to Croatia.
“I had productive discussions yesterday with Madam President and with Prime Minister Plenkovic on how to take forward our multi-faceted bilateral ties. There is immense potential to expand trade and investment profile and establish innovation, research and start-up partnerships. Added to this, we have a rich trading past to encourage and inspire us” Kovind said, highlighting the trade history shared between the two countries.
“India is changing and changing fast…We invite Croatia to partner with us and take advantage of the opportunities that India presents,” he stated.
Kovind highlighted the scope for growth in trade ties between India and Croatia. “I am encouraged that bilateral trade has doubled during the last decade, and some investments have been made in both directions.
However, you would admit that our bilateral trade and investment flows are still modest. For Croatia, the Indian growth story presents opportunities for two-way engagement in information technology, pharmaceuticals, digital economy, renewable energy, healthcare, infrastructure, defence and tourism sectors, just to name a few,” he said.
“We would like Croatia to collaborate with us in our flagship programmes – Make in India, Clean India, Start-up India and Digital India.
We are also keen to learn from Croatia in the tourism and urban infrastructure sectors…Defence sector could be a vital area of cooperation between our two countries. Our defence requirements are huge and I invite Croatian companies to partner us in meeting our demands,” the President added.
The event was organised by the Croatian Chamber of Economy, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The President is currently on a three-country trip to Croatia, Bolivia and Chile from March 25 to April 4. His travel marks the first time that an Indian President has visited Croatia and Bolivia.
He earlier held talks with his Croatian counterpart, following which four Memoranda of Understanding were signed between India and Croatia, in the fields of tourism, education, sports, to name a few.
Kovind also interacted with the Indian diaspora in Croatia on Tuesday. He will now embark on the second leg of his tour to Latin America on March 28.
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