August 23, 2019
This was the first ever high lever dignitary visit from India to the three nations that will boost both bilateral and regional ties
The visit boosted India’s bilateral ties with the three nations, besides promoting cultural contacts as well as business opportunities
The three Baltic countries assured the Vice President that they would work closely with India in various multilateral fora
Since 2014, Government of India has taken measures to strengthen foreign ties marked by several high-profile visits
Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, paid official visits to Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, over August 17-22, advancing India’s outreach in the Baltic region. The visit also enhanced India’s bilateral ties with each of the three nations, besides promoting cultural contacts as well as business opportunities.
VP Naidu began the tour in Lithuania where he met President Gitanas Nauseda and discussed important aspects of bilateral relations as well as global and regional issues of common interest. Both sides also discussed the huge scope for expansion of commercial and economic ties. VP Naidu said that India was now among the fastest-growing major economies in the world and wanted Lithuanian businesses to take advantage of the opportunities available in India. He praised Lithuania’s many achievements since achieving independence almost 30 years back. President Nauseda and VP Naidu witnessed the signing of two deals on Agriculture and Allied sectors and Cultural Exchange Programme from 2019-21. During his stay, VP Naidu addressed the local Indian community and the India-Lithuania Business Forum.
Next, VP Naidu reached Riga, Latvia, where he held delegation-level talks with President Egils Levits, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš and witnessed the signing of bilateral agreements. During his stay, VP Naidu also met the local Indian community and addressed the first-ever India-Latvia Business Forum meeting and called for taking the bilateral trade and economic cooperation to new heights. VP Naidu unveiled the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the National Library of Latvia, and jointly with the acting speaker of the Parliament of Latvia, IneseLībiņa-Egnere, discussed a proposal to establish a joint parliamentary friendship group. “India is committed to strengthening its relations with Latvia in all spheres, including business and investment, cultural and academic cooperation…,” VP Naidu added.
On August 21, VP Naidu received a ceremonial welcome at the Presidential Palace in Tallinn, Estonia. There he held talks with Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia. Later, VP Naidu held talks with Prime Minister Juri Ratas and addressed a seminar of the heads of missions and ambassadors at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. MP Jüri Ratas agreed to expand bilateral relations in all spheres, particularly economic, cultural and Information Technology. VP Naidu also attended the India-Estonia Business Forum and the local Indian Community. Given Estonia’s IT capabilities and the innovation environment, there is a vast potential for building technology partnerships between India’s and Estonian Companies in IT, Cyber Security and related domains that can boost the current US$172 million bilateral trade.