Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will today begin a four-day visit to India. His delegation will meet with President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss bilateral business and economic cooperation, focusing on common international interests.
A significant area of overlap is defence production to cater to the international market. PM Modi has been promoting the ‘Make in India’ program to encourage FDI inflows, particularly in the defence industry.
Building on this, Indian ship-making firm GRSE signed an MoU with the Portuguese bridge specialist BERD on Monday to collaborate on building modular, portable steel bridges. These will be supplied to the Indian Army, state governments, and the neighbouring countries Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal.
India stands to gain a defence production stronghold in its neighbourhood relative to China, which supplies to Belt and Road partners Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan. Portugal will benefit economically through this manufacturing cooperation, as its FDI in India was more than 500 million USD as of November 2019. Towards this, the countries are expected to collaborate on building modern complex warships with weapon sensors, electronic equipment and stealth features in the medium term.
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