India and Belarus, the resource-rich East European country, have signed 10 pacts in diverse areas, including energy and agriculture and decided to explore joint development and manufacturing of hi-tech weaponry under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
India’s Prime Minster Narendra Modi and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko held wide-ranging talks in New Delhi that culminated in a roadmap for expanding economic and energy cooperation across the spectrum. The two sides inked 10 agreements, including a crucial pact in the area of oil and corporation.
India-Belarus partnership in the agricultural sector has also been bolstered by the signing of two pacts – one between the JSC Belarusian Potash Company (BPC) and Indian Potash Ltd (IPL), and another between OJSC Minsk Tractor Works and Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd. India in Pune.
Looking ahead, the focus will be on enhancing development cooperation, which is reflected in the signing of pacts in vocational training, sports, science and technology and education.
The major takeaway from the latest round of high-level India-Belarus talks was the upgrade in defence partnership. “We will also encourage joint development and manufacturing in defence sector under the Make in India programme. We have also progressed our discussion on utilising the US$ 100 million line of credit that India had offered in 2015 in specific projects in Belarus,” Mr Modi said at a media interaction with the Belarus leader in New Delhi on September 12.
Mr Modi and the Belarus leader jointly released commemorative stamps to mark the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
PM Modi also identified specific sectors of bilateral cooperation. “Innovation and commercialisation will be given due emphasis in fields like metallurgy & materials, nano-materials, biological & medical sciences, and chemical & engineering sciences. We envisage participation of our youth in this process.”
In days to come, India-Belarus connect is set to get stronger as economic ties expand and mesh with robust cultural bonding between people of the two countries. Yoga, ayurveda and Bollywood dance have a huge following in the East European country. “President Lukashenku and I discussed the rich history of cultural interactions between our people, which has nurtured goodwill. I was pleased to learn that many Belarusians take active interest in Indian culture, cuisine, films, music, dance, Yoga and Ayurveda,” said Mr Modi.
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