Czech Foreign Minister to begin 4-day India visit from Nov 18

November 16th, 2007 - 9:41 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov 16 (ANI): The Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Karel Schwarzenberg, will arrive here on Sunday on a four-day visit during which the leader will hold discussions with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee.

The visiting dignitary will also hold talks with New and Renewable Energy Minister Vilas Muttemwar. Schwarzenberg will also visit Skoda automobile factory in Aurangabad.

Schwarzenbergs visit follows the visits of Czech President in November 2005 and Prime Minister in January 2006.

India and the Czech Republic have traditionally enjoyed warm and friendly relations dating back to medieval ages, the Kingdom of Bohemia. India’s trade and economic links with Czechoslovakia also pre-date our independence. Czechoslovakia established a Consulate in Bombay in 1920 and in Calcutta soon thereafter.

This year, India and the Czech Republic are celebrating 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations commencing from November 13, 2007. A number of Czech companies such as Skoda Auto, Czech Shoe Company, Bata Works, Tatra Joint Venture established an early presence in the country. Indian and NRI investors as Mittal Steel, Infosys Technologies, Ashok Leyland and Tata Tea have established presence in the Czech Republic.

The visit is taking place against the backdrop of significant increase in bilateral trade and investment consequent to the robust economic growth in India. Bilateral trade has shown significant growth during last few years, topping 665 million dollars in 2006. In 2007, up to August 2007, bilateral trade reached 605 million dollars, with Indian exports of 263 million dollars and Indian imports of 342 million dollars.

The Joint Press Statement issued during the visit of Czech Prime Minister in January 2006 envisaged trade turnover of one billion dollars by 2010. It appears that the target may be achieved this year.

Besides, Indian students are increasingly attending professional courses such as medical, dental and engineering in Czech institutions. Cooperation between Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Czech Academy of Sciences is ongoing and both sides are exploring ways to take this further.

A Memorandum of Cooperation between the Foreign Service Institute and the Czech Diplomatic Academy is to be signed during the visit. (ANI)

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