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Greece’s gateway to Asia UPSC NOTE

 Relationship between India and Greece

  • Bilateral strategic, military and business cooperation has been moving along over the years between India and Greece.

  • But at a slow and unhurried pace. 

  • The Indian Navy and Indian Air Force have been participating in joint exercises with the Greek armed forces and reciprocal exercises are planned from time to time. 

  • Businesses have also been looking at each other.

  • An Indian construction company, for example, is involved with a major Greek Construction company in the building of a new airport on the island of Crete. 

  • A well-known Indian business family has made major investments in several companies in the food business in Greece. 

  • A mid-sized Indian shipping company has already opened a brokerage firm in Athens and looks to become a key player in the trans-Atlantic shipping market. 

  • A large systemic bank in Greece has tied up with a major Indian financial institution to sell mutual fund products globally. 

  • It is also interesting to note that Greece’s most important long-term foreign investor is Indian-Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa, founder and CEO of the Fairfax Financial Holdings. 

  • Mr. Watsa often states that “Greece is still by far the best European country to invest in.” 

  • As economic reforms by the Mitsotakis government over the last five years push the Greek economy towards a more sustainable growth path.

  • Greece positions itself as the reliable eastern flank of the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the Eastern Mediterranean, also building its defence industry, the idea of constructing the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) is gaining in salience.

  • It is hoped that Greek and Indian business will discover many more reasons to partner with each other. 

  • Greece has been a strong supporter of deeper EU-India relations and is now working to ensure the EU-India bilateral trade and investment agreement (BTIA) is rapidly concluded, which would be a further catalyst to bilateral economic ties.

Upcoming visit of the Greek PM to India and its significance for the developing strategic relationship between the two countries

  • The state visit by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to New Delhi (February 21-22) will be another important step in building a strategic relationship between India and Greece.

  • This process began with the historic visit of Narendra Modi, to Greece in August 2023. 

  • This was a visit that led to considerable excitement in Greece at the highest political levels and among Greek business leaders who sensed the great opportunity that a strategic partnership with India provided.

  • Ahead of the visit, Mr. Mitsotakis told this writer that he is determined to deepen bilateral ties and cooperation in many fields, adding that “India will find no better gateway to Europe than my country and for Greece there is no better gateway to Asia than a close strategic relationship with India.” 

  • He said, “PM Modi’s historic visit to Athens created a momentum which I hope will be accelerated with my upcoming visit to India.

  • India is perceived as an old and traditional friend of Greece, but also as a rising great power in the fast-changing global scene

  • Mr. Mitsotakis will be accompanied by a high-level Greek business delegation comprising business leaders not only looking at India’s potential as their gateway to Asia but also as a manufacturing base for their global operations.

  • Greece and India are in many ways ‘prisoners’ of geography. 

  • They are located in areas strategically important to the global system but are areas that are at the same time geopolitically volatile. 

  • As recent events in the Red Sea have shown, the security, stability and prosperity of the East Mediterranean region, where Greece is situated, is vitally dependent on the security, stability and prosperity of the Indian Ocean region.

More than ever before, the political leadership in India and Greece is aware of the compelling strategic reasons and urgency to build a strategic relationship between the two countries.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Greece’s gateway to Asia UPSC NOTE
Greece’s gateway to Asia UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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