Edited by UMD Staff
There is huge unused potential for more intense political, economic and other types of cooperation between Macedonia and India, the two countries’ foreign ministers, Antonio Milososki and Pranab Mukherjee, assessed at Tuesday’s meeting in New Delhi.
Although the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1996, bilateral cooperation has been modest so far, a fact emphasized in this, the first official visit of a Macedonian government official to India.
An incentive for improved cooperation should be the Macedonian Embassy in New Delhi, which will be officially opened Tuesday evening by the FM Antonio Milososki, the MIA correspondent reports.
“This is an important day for relations between Macedonia and India. The embassy will create an additional basis for boosting relations with the most populous democracy in the world,” Milososki said after the meeting with his Indian counterpart. India began using Macedonia’s constitutional name in October 2008, when the embassy was registered according to state diplomatic protocol as the ‘Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia’ instead of the provisional reference ‘FYROM.’ Milososki hopes that an Indian Embassy will be opened in the near future in Skopje.
India will continue to use the constitutional name in bilateral communication with the Republic of Macedonia; confirmation for this is the revocation of visas to bearers of diplomatic and official passports, which was signed by the two ministers.
“We expressed our gratitude for the use of the constitutional name by India in bilateral relations. It means a lot to us. India is a very important country both in the region and in the world,” Milososki said. He introduced Mukherjee with issues important for the Republic of Macedonia and Mukarjee presented him with India’s national and foreign relations priorities. Besides bilateral relations, Macedonia and India will develop multilateral cooperation with mutual support in relation to issues connected with the national interests of both countries.
Both ministers assessed that the important bridge between the two countries, especially on cultural and spiritual matters, is Mother Teresa, the most famous person in the modern world born in Macedonia. Milososki, who will visit her grave in Calcutta on Wednesday and will unveil a commemorative plaque. He announced that the memorial house of Mother Teresa in Skopje will be opened very soon.
A Macedonian delegation including businessmen led by Prime Minister Gruevski is likely to pay a visit to India in the second half of 2009.
In regard to the strengthening of political ties, Milososki also held talks with the Speaker of the Lower House of the Indian Parliament, Somnath Chatterjee.
In an attempt to initiate stronger economic relations, Milososki in New Delhi will meet with Indian businessmen and will present them with possibilities for investment in Macedonia. Although economic cooperation reveals some intensification in the past several years, it is still at a very low level. Trade exchange in the first nine months of 2008 was US$35 million, out of which only US$800,000 is Macedonian exports to India.
India’s GDP last year grew by 9% and industrial production by 8.5%. Around US$96 billion in foreign investments entered the country and Indian businessmen invested US$38 billion abroad.
Aimed at attracting some of the India’s investments, the Macedonian government as part of the newly opened embassy in New Delhi, has appointed an economic promoter to market Macedonia as a good business destination.
Views expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the United Macedonian Diaspora nor does their publishing on this website imply support from the United Macedonian Diaspora.