New Delhi [India], December 24 (ANI): V Muraleedharan, Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs, and Frano Matusic, Croatian State Secretary for Political Affairs, exchanged views on developments in the Indo-Pacific region and reiterated their commitment to an open, free and stable Indo-Pacific region.
During the virtual interaction on Tuesday, India welcomed Croatia's active participation in the making of the European Union Strategy for Indo-Pacific region with focus on preserving supply chain networks.
The meeting set a broad-based agenda for mutual cooperation in the year 2021 which would provide substance for celebrations of three decades of establishment of diplomatic relationship between the two countries in 2022, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
According to the statement, India's two years non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) starting from January 2021 and Croatia's strong active role in the European Union were recognised as important platforms for mutual cooperation to pursue common and convergent agendas on issues of global importance such as climate change, counter-terrorism, global healthcare issues and multilateral norms making for global commons such as cyberspace, maritime domain and outer-space.
"Tourism being an important part of both B2B and P2P engagements, both sides recognised the need for tourism promotion activities despite the negative turn that this industry has faced due to the pandemic. The film industry as a means for enhancing awareness of each others tourism sites was highlighted as an important area of intervention and cooperation," the MEA said.
On the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare-related research and development, the Ministers discussed the scope for further enhancement of cooperation in this "mutually beneficial area".
Another area of cooperation that this pandemic has brought into focus is the importance of digital technologies. "The two countries discussed the need for developing a multi-layered digital partnership between the two countries with emphasis on corporate partnership, start-ups engagement, cyber R&D, talent and skilled human resources cooperation, cybersecurity and cyberinfrastructure. They welcomed the initial events in the area of start-ups engagements of two sides which were organized in this month," the MEA stated.
While recognising the strong cultural cooperation, both ministers underscored the importance of stronger engagement in cultural area in the year 2021-2022 in the context of 30 years of establishment of diplomatic relations. "The State Secretary of Croatia and the MoS discussed the possibility of exchange of cultural troupes, cooperation in the area of fine arts, archaeology as well as establishment of ICCR sponsored short-term chairs in Croatian Universities."
Discussing science, technology and innovation, the two sides highlighted the importance of providing opportunities to the youths of the two countries to connect for joint research, co-creation and co-development. They appreciated the recent initiatives of connecting University of Zagreb, Ruder Boskovic Institute and Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences with Indian Department of Biotechnology. (ANI)