For the first time after 40 years, Greece once again welcomed an Indian Prime Minister in August 2023, with a view to mapping out and reinforcing a framework of mutually beneficial cooperation.
Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined the importance as well as the potential of reviving old and historic ties between the two countries. It is worth noting that the last visit by an Indian leader was Indira Gandhi’s visit to Greece in 1983. Modi noted that Greece constituted a crucial economic, logistic and strategic gateway to both Eastern Europe and the European Union. This in turn will allow Greece to solidify its investment status.
Areas of cooperation
The outcome of the visit was positive on multiple levels. A Joint Declaration formulated the two countries’ shared understanding on “a free, open, yet rules-based Mediterranean Sea and Indo-Pacific, in accordance with the Law of the Sea”, while a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Agricultural Sector was also signed during this visit.
The two leaders paved the way for a new strategic relationship that is designed to double bilateral trade between the two countries by 2030. In numbers, commercial trade between Greece and India in 2022 reached 1.32 billion euro, which was already a record high to date.
An agreement on Mobility & Migration is also in the pipeline and expected to be finalized soon. Other synergies were identified in various areas from defence, shipping and technology, to science, cyberspace and culture.
Greece being the top tourist destination it is, it was not surprising that Prime Minister Mitsotakis highlighted the potential of increasing the tourist flow from India, and in that context underlined the importance of introducing direct flights between his country and India.
In conclusion, this meeting reaffirmed Greece’s role as a bridge between three continents and constituted yet another step towards broader international cooperation that will reflect Greece’s status as a stable, peaceful and secure partner in the region.