India, Portugal ink seven agreements in New Delhi
India and Portugal signed seven agreements, including a defence cooperation MOU, after talks between Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. They inked a joint declaration for cooperation in third countries. Modi thanked the Indian-origin Portuguese PM for consistent support for India's permanent UN Security Council membership and NSG membership. Costa is on a seven-day visit to India.
The joint declaration signed by India and Portugal for cooperation in third countries would encourage the private sector in those countries to undertake joint economic, commercial and industrial projects, and investments to boost growth.
The agreements signed by India and Portugal provide cooperation in the sectors of information technology, electronics, agricultural trade, including market access for agriculture-related products, and deeper engagement in renewable energy and marine research in both the countries. Modi and his Portuguese counterpart reviewed the full range of the bilateral ties in an extensive discussion and also talked about the growing violence and terrorism threats.
PM Modi stated: "We agreed that the two countries must focus on action-oriented approach to realize the full potential of economic opportunities in our partnership. The agreements signed today are just one indication of our shared resolve to do exactly that."
PM Narendra Modi said the MoU signed on defence cooperation would help both the countries harness their "respective strengths in this field for mutual benefit." It envisages defence cooperation and exchange covering high-level visits, education and training exchanges, and working-level exchanges. It also covers the matters of mutual interest like security challenges, maritime security UN peacekeeping operations, and cooperation of defence-related industries.
Both nations took a jab at China for blocking India's move at the UN to designate Masood Azhar, Chief of Jaish-e-Muhammad militant organization, as a global terrorist on 30 December. China was the only member to block India's move under the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council. Both countries called for strengthening cooperation in combating terrorism in a spirit of 'zero tolerance'.
"Recognizing the importance of the Central role of UN in combating terrorism, they (the leaders of both the countries) exhorted the international community to effectively implement the measures enumerated by the 1267 UN Sanctions Committee."
PM Narendra Modi said expanding and deepening of investment, trade, and business partnerships is a priority for both, India and Portugal. Both nations agreed to give priority to boost start-ups and create a favorable ecosystem for entrepreneurship. Antonio Costa is the chief guest for Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Bengaluru; he would also attend the Vibrant Gujarat summit on 10 January.
Antonio Costa was proud for returning to India as the Portuguese PM; he will visit his ancestral home in Goa. PM Modi presented Antonio Costa with an English version of his father, the late Goan novelist, Orlando Costa's book, while Antonio presented Modi with the first edition of the same book. Later, Costa surprised Modi by giving him footballer Cristiano Ronaldo's red jersey.