Krishna to seek further ties with Spain

April 17th, 2012 - 11:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) Looking to further expand India’s ties with Spain, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will be on a three-day visit to Madrid from April 19 for bilateral discussions with his counterpart Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, officials said here Tuesday.

During his visit, Krishna will also meet Catalonia government President Artur Mas, Andorra government’s Foreign Affairs Minister Gilbert Saboya Sunye, apart from calling on Spain’s King Juan Carlos.

The relations between India and Spain are cordial and there have been regular high-level ministerial and official visits from both sides.

India-Spain economic, trade and investment relations have grown substantially in the last few years and the bilateral trade in the year 2011 stood at $5.84 billion.

Spain is the 13th largest investor in India with total foreign direct investment at $820 million.

Spain was also the partner country at the 17th edition of the Technology Summit and Technology Platform organised by the department of science and technology here in November 2011.

Only last month, Basque Province Chief Minister Patxi Lopez visited India to see projects being implemented by his province in India and to seek business opportunities. He was accompanied by a large business delegation.

The Basque Province and Catalonia contribute substantially to the trade turnover with India, which has also helped in the setting up of the Casa de la India in the University of Valladolid in Spain.

The Casa constitutes a new platform for the dissemination of Indian culture in Spain.

During his stay in Spain, Krishna will also interact with representatives of the Indian community, which is estimated to number about 50,000.

Utilising his visit to Spain, Krishna will chair a conference of heads of Indian missions based in Europe that will also be addressed by Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur.

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