The visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Athens on Friday opens a window for further strengthening trade, business, investment and also defense relations.
Narendra Modi will be in Athens a few hours after India’s participation in perhaps the most important BRICS meetings in Durban, South Africa, discussing the prospect of creating a reference point that could replace part of the dollar transactions.
The Greek side seeks to upgrade bilateral relations both on a business and economic level. In 2022, the volume of bilateral trade increased by 58%, reaching a peak of 1.32 billion. euros, which is the highest in the last 5 years.
The two peoples have had close ties for many years, but trade and diplomatic relations have only developed over the last 70 years. Therefore, the meeting is considered to be a golden opportunity for Greece to take advantage of the momentum of the fastest growing economy on the planet.
There is interest in business partnerships not only from India’s heavy manufacturing industry, which is looking for a way to Europe through Greece, but also from technological companies, which have turned their eyes on Greek start-ups, as well as industries in which there is major growth in India- such as pharmaceuticals, aerospace, energy, tourism, shipping, mining and food.
India is the largest manufacturer of generic drugs in the world with the pharmaceutical sector meeting over 50% of the global demand for vaccines. The Indian IT industry is a major exporter of IT services with revenues of $196 billion and employing over 4.47 million people. The tourism industry contributes about 9.2% of India’s GDP and employs over 42 million people. It is the second country in the world in food and agricultural production. India’s telecom industry is the second largest in the world in terms of mobile phones, smartphones and internet users. It also has one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world and it is the second largest producer of coal, cement and steel and the third largest producer of electricity.
In the defense sector, Greece and India have become closer. Su-30MKI fighter jets of the Indian Air Force participated for the first time in the multinational air exercise INIOHOS-23, led by the Greek Air Force. At the same time, the Indian Navy’s warship INS Chennai recently arrived in Souda Bay, where it also conducted an exercise with the Greek warship Nikiforos Fokas. Moreover, Greek fighter jets are expected to participate for the first time in the Indian exercise ‘Tarang Shakti’ in September.