India and Belarus inked 10 pacts to expand cooperation

Vastavam web:India and Belarus today inked 10 pacts to expand cooperation in a range of areas and decided to explore joint development and manufacturing in the defence sector.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Belarus President A G Lukashenko, who held extensive talks, also agreed to focus on ramping up economic engagement between the two countries, holding that there was huge scope to boost trade and investment.Modi described the discussions as wide-ranging and forward-looking and said they were marked by the warmth of ties of over two and a half decades.
“We exchanged views on bilateral issues and on regional and global developments. We reviewed the architecture of our partnership. We considered ideas and initiatives for further expanding it,” Modi told reporters after the talks.”We decided to enhance the interaction in all aspects of cooperation. I found in President Lukashenko matching enthusiasm and desire to scale up our partnership for the benefit of our people,” Modi said.On his part, the Belarusian president said the two countries were at the doorstep of a “new stage” of cooperation.
Inviting Indian investors to Belarus, Lukashenko said his government was ready to provide them the most favourable and ideal conditions for doing business.In this context, Modi also mentioned India’s on- going negotiations with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) for a free trade agreement. Belarus is part of the five member- EEU, considered an influential central Asian bloc.The volume of bilateral trade in 2016 amounted to USD 402 million approximately.
Asserting that he advocated and promoted the idea of a multi-polar world, Lukashenko expressed the hope that India would become a “mightful pole” in the multi-polar world.The two sides also agreed to close cooperation on on “matters of mutual interest” in multilateral fora.
India is linked with Belarus under multilateral economic initiatives such as the Eurasian Economic Union and the International North South Transport Corridor.”The seriousness of our intention can be proved by the fact that during the visit we initiated Investment Protection Agreement between India and Belarus and secondly I can promise my support for finalising the free zone between India and Eurasian Economic Union,” Lukashenko said.Belarus is known for powder metallurgy. India has an advanced research centre in powder metallurgy in Hyderabad, established with the help of Eurasian nation.