One of the most talked about subjects in India has been the foreign visits of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi who visited 35 odd countries in about two years. Not that other Prime Ministers did not go on foreign tours. What was remarkable in the case of Modi has been the quick succession in which he went abroad, as if at the drop of the hat. Also, public reception to him by the Indian community abroad was a distinguishing feature of his visits abroad.
Russia – December
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on a two-day visit to Russia on Dec 23 for annual summit talks with President Vladimir Putin. India was looking at deeper engagement in Russia’s oil and coal sector besides stepping up cooperation in some other areas like diamond trade and agro-business. India is also likely to push for a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Zone and is sharing details of a study it conducted in this regard.
Singapore – November
PM Modi addressed the Indian diaspora there on a two-day visit to Singapore. He said the government is laying thrust in generating power from clean and renewable sources like solar, nuclear, wind and biomass with the target of 175 gigawatts, and in turn, reduce dependence on coal.
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Malaysia – November
PM Modi visited Malaysia on a two-day visit and discussed with his counterpart Nazib Razak on ways to ramp up bilateral cooperation in a range of areas including defence and security and take the strategic ties to a new level. Combating terrorism was also one of the key issues. Modi also visited Ramakrishna mission and also inaugurated a statue of Swami Vivekananda.
United Kingdom – November
PM Modi struck 27 deals in 3 days during his UK visit. From technology transfer in defence to going after the Lashkar-e-Toiba, from cyber security to tackling online child pornography – a new joint statement on defence and security has emerged as a major takeaway from the meetings between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart David Cameron.
United States – September
PM addressed a summit on the agenda of Sustainable Developmental Goals at UN. He also attended a summit on peacekeeping forces hosted by Barack Obama. In San Jose, Modi attended a digital dinner with who’s who of the tech world. he also joined in for a Townhall Q&A hosted by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
UAE – August
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Arab Emirates has scored big on three fronts – terror, trade and outreach to the blue-collared Indian expatriate community. While substance was evident in these three counts, his symbolic outreach to Muslims – in his maiden visit to an Islamic country – by visiting the Sheikh Zayed mosque and praising the inherent tenets of Islam was music to many.
Central Asia – July
Modi was the first Indian PM to visit the five Central Asian nations in one trip. The focus during the trip will be on enhancing trade, cooperation in energy and security. PM visited Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Russia and Turkmenistan.
Russia – July
Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Russia to participate in the 7th BRICS summit and SCO summit in Ufa in a bid to give an impetus to strategic, economic and energy ties.
Bangladesh – June
As India extended a $2 billion Line of Credit (LoC) to Bangladesh to develop its infrastructure and signed 22 agreements, Prime Minister Narendra Modi almost took a leaf out of former PM Manmohan Singh’s book to address Dhaka’s concerns on Teesta and trade imbalance. On the issue of trade imbalance, Modi said he was “conscious” of the huge trade imbalance and will do everything India can to bridge the deficit.
China – May
Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked China to take advantage of the “winds of change” in India with a much more transparent, responsive and stable regulatory regime even as leading firms from the two sides signed deals worth USD 22 billion.
Mongolia – May
India announced a credit line of USD 1 billion to Mongolia to expand its economic capacity and infrastructure, as they decided to upgrade their relationship from Comprehensive to “Strategic Partnership”. Narendra Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Mongolia, held wide-ranging talks with his counterpart Chimed Saikhanbileg here following which the two sides inked 14 agreements covering defence, cyber security, agriculture, renewable energy and health sector.
South Korea – May
India and South Korea seven agreements, including on avoidance of double taxation and formalising consultations between National Security Councils of the two nations, to boost bilateral ties.
France – April
India asked France to supply 36 Rafale fighter jets in “fly-away” condition “as quickly as possible”. This is under a government-to-government deal, unlike the tender currently being negotiated by the Ministry of Defence with Dassault, Rafale’s manufacturer.
Germany – April
PM Modi and Angela Merkel spoke in favour of a free trade agreement between the European Union and India. PM Modi said that this was important for the expansion of India as a manufacturing hub. The joint statement by both countries recognized the establishment of a working group on urban development. The two countries said stronger educational exchanges will be encouraged along with collaborations between universities.
Canada – April
Modi became the first PM to arrive in Canada in a stand-alone bilateral visit in 42 years.
Both countries signed an agreement for long-term supply of Uranium to India. Harper and Modi agreed to increase collaboration in the fields of energy efficiency, oil and gas development and renewable energy.
Seychelles, Mauritius, Sri Lanka – March
PM Modi’s visit to the three island countries was against the backdrop of China’s increasing focus on the Indian Ocean region. Modi renewed India’s commitment to the ocean economies where India envisages its role as a net security provider. Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka was the first standalone Prime Ministerial visit to the island nation since 1987.