Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for more 'aggressive efforts' to strengthen economic ties between India and Turkey while addressing a business summit along with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, adding that the current level of relations between the two nations are 'not enough'.
Furthermore, PM Modi is also expected to seek Turkey's support to India in a bid to become a member of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
President Erdogan, who arrived in India today, received a ceremonial welcome before the Rashtrapati Bhavan on his two-day visit to India on Monday. The leader even paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at the Raj Ghat.
Following this, the two leaders headed to the Hyderabad House in New Delhi to attend the India-Turkey Business Summit hosted by FICCI were they held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral trade and regional issues.
Currently, trade between India and Turkey stands at $6.4 billion. To bridge this gap, Ankara wants a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with India.
With little chance ahead of Turkey becoming a member of the European Union, the country has now turned towards Asia for more strategic partnerships with India as a promising partner.
Here are the major highlights of the summit:
1. PM Modi said that there is great potential to enhance bilateral engagement through FDI inflow, technological tie-ups and corporation on various projects.
2. Inviting Turkish construction companies PM Modi said: Turkey's companies can easily participate in this task of building India fast. We plan to build 50 million houses by 2022. For this purpose we have repeatedly refined our FDI policy in construction sector."
3. On tourism PM Modi said: Turkish tourism sector is globally renowned. Number of tourists going to Turkey has gone up in the last few years. It's also popular for shooting Indian films and television industry. We must explore wider opportunities in this area. We could reach out to regional cinema industry."
4. In a bid to become more energy efficient, the PM said: "India and Turkey are both energy deficient, and our energy needs are ever increasing. This sector is an important pillar of bilateral relations."
Speaking to WION news channel in an interview, President Erdogan said: "We should not allow more casualties to occur (in Kashmir). By having a multilateral dialogue, (in which) we can be involved, we can seek ways to settle the issue once and for all,"
The Turkish President added that it is in the interest of India and Pakistan that they should resolve this issue and not leave it for the future generations who will have to suffer.
This is Erdogan's first foreign visit after winning a controversial referendum on April 16 that further consolidated his executive powers.