President Ram Nath Kovind
President Ram Nath Kovind

India, Czech Republic agree to combat terrorism

By Ajit K Jha (ANI) | Updated: Sep 07, 2018 18:55 IST

Prague [Czech Republic], Sept 7 (ANI): India and the Czech Republic on Friday agreed to jointly cooperate in the fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
In a joint statement, President Ram Nath Kovind thanked his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman for his support for an early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the United Nations.
"President Zeman and I shared our concerns on global and regional challenges. We emphasised the importance of cooperation in Defence and security. We committed to fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," President Kovind said.
The President also expressed his gratitude to the Czech Republic leadership for supporting India's claim for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and its membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Speaking on Defence cooperation, President Kovind elucidated, "There is immense potential for India-Czech Defence collaboration to meet the growing requirements of the Indian Defence industry. I invite Czech Defence company to take advantage of the opening of Defence manufacturing sector in India and set-up joint ventures in India both to produce for the domestic market and for the rest of the world. I thank the Czech side for recognising the need to enhance the mobility of Indian professionals and students into the Czech Republic to upscale our economic partnership. We look forward to the launch of Special Procedures for Highly Qualified Employees meant for India in October."
He further said that five Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were finalised, out of which three agreements have been signed -- between the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India and the Czech Academy of Sciences on work plan for support of Indo-Czech projects in diverse areas of science and technology, on visa waiver agreement for diplomatic passport holders and between ELI Beamlines and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in the field of laser technology.
"In addition, we also look forward to initiating co-operation for peaceful use of nuclear energy between the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, India and a relevant institution on the Czech side. These agreements would step-up our ongoing research and innovation partnership," President Kovind added.
Terming Czech Republic as an important trade, technology and investment partner, the President underscored that Prague's strengths in manufacturing and advanced technology make it a natural fit to partner Indian growth and next-generation development.
He announced that Czech automobile organisation, Skoda Auto and its parent company Volkswagen have announced plans to invest USD 1 billion in India under the 'Make in India' initiative.
President Kovind stated that the annual bilateral trade is a little over USD 1 billion, which is way below its potential.
He further said, "Given the economic strengths of the two countries, this is way below potential. President Zeman and I committed today to write a new chapter in our trading relations. The India-Czech Joint Economic Commission meeting to be held next month at the ministerial level, will deliberate in detail and take steps to enhance trade and investment cooperation and diversify our partnership into new areas."
While addressing the Indian community here on Thursday, President Kovind said that the Czech Republic, which is a manufacturing "powerhouse" with advanced technology base, can be a key partner for India's development initiatives such as 'Start-Up India', 'Digital India' and 'Make in India'.
He also appealed to the people living here to participate in Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Varanasi in January next year.
Earlier in the day, President Kovind received a guard of honour at the Prague Castle, ahead of the bilateral talks with his Czech counterpart. This is President Kovind's first visit to Czech Republic in 22 years after former President Shankar Dayal Sharma had visited the European nation in 1996.
Both India and Czech Republic share close cultural and trade ties, as thousands of businessmen from Bohemia used to trade spices and silk from India. President Kovind's trip is expected to further deepen the bilateral relations between both the countries in the field of high technology, nanotechnology and industrial development. (ANI)