India, Belarus to expand bilateral ties

New Delhi [India], Sept 12 : Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that India and Belarus reviewed the architecture of their partnership and exchanged ideas to expand its bilateral ties.

"Our discussions today were wide ranging and forward looking. They were marked it by the warmth of our ties of two and half decades," Prime Minister Modi said during a joint statement with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.

"We have exchanged our views on bilateral issues and on regional and global development. We reviewed the architecture of our partnership, we considered ideas and initiatives for further expanding it," he added.

Prime Minister Modi lauded President Lukashenks's enthusiasm and desire to scale up the partnership between the two countries for the benefit of the people from both the sides.

He said the two countries will work to diversify economic linkages, which will focus on building the natural complimentary between both sides.

Emphasing on abundant business and investment opportunities in different sectors in India, Prime Minister Modi noted that partnership also exists in various fields and areas.

"We will also encourage joint development and manufacturing defence sector, under the Make in India program.

Science and technology is another area of focus for stronger cooperation," he said. He further said that India was exploring the setting up of a technology demonstration centre to showcase Belarusian technology.

Prime Minister Modi highlighted that the two countries have close cooperation and common approaches on matters of mutual interest at various international forums.

He added that the two countries will continue extending mutual support for each other at such forums. On his part, President Lukashenko said that he was interested in India's growth so that the world can become more multi-polar and hoped that India will take its place in such a world.

"The great India would not be possible without presence of India in Belarus. We are ready to provide to Indian companies, to Indian business, the most favourable and ideal conditions for doing business in our country.

This is the example, which we already have with other countries," he said. President Lukashenko also invited India to set up a sci-tech industrial park in Belarus. "I invited the Prime minister of India to set up a sci-tech park on the crossroads from the east to the west and from the south to the north.

The park will offer the most favourable conditions for investment. Indian companies and other companies from all over the world, if they want, will be able to launch production there and sell goods and services on the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union," he said.

India and Belarus on Tuesday released a postage stamp to mark 25 years of diplomatic ties between the two sides.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko released the stamps simultaneously.

India and Belarus also signed 10 Memorandum of Understanding's (MoUs) in various sectors. The MoUs were signed in areas like oil and gas sector, vocational education, sports affairs, cooperation in agriculture, scientific and technical cooperation.

Prime Minister Modi and Belarus President Lukashenko witnessed the exchange of MoUs between the two sides.

The Belarus President earlier in the day held meetings with Prime Minister Modi, Vice President M.Venkaiah Naidu and External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

Earlier, he was given a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan. "We have something to offer to India's leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi with whom we already have a friendly relationship and I am sure that we will find our place in this beautiful and prosperous country," President Lukashenko said.

President Lukashenko's visit is seen to be significant as it is taking place in a year when Belarus and India are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Source: ANI