Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias embarks on tour of Asia, starting in India

Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Sunday left for a tour of Asia that will take in India, Singapore and South Korea, which seeks to upgrade bilateral political dialogue and sound out potential investor interest.

The trip will start in India, where relations are at a good level but with significant prospects for further improvement. The two countries are expected to sign agreements on air transport and a memorandum of cooperation in the renewable energy sector during the visit.

Kotzias will have a working lunch with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj and Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Mobashar Jawed Akbar in New Delhi, as well as visiting the Gandhi Smriti, a museum dedicated to the life of Mahatma Gandhi. The minister’s talks will focus on current affairs and ways of enhancing bilateral relations, including an expansion of tourism cooperation and attracting investments.

He is also scheduled to deliver a speech on Greece’s role and initiatives in Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean at the Observer Research Foundation in India.

The minister will then make a one-day visit to Singapore, the first-ever visit by a Greek foreign minister since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1966, which comes before the imminent opening of a Greek embassy in Singapore. Kotzias will have a working lunch with his counterpart Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan where they will discuss prospects of improving cooperation in trade, shipping, investments and tourist flow, in light of initiatives like China’s One Belt One Road, as well as other issues.

The visit to South Korea is also a first visit by a Greek foreign minister, with Kotzias meeting his counterpart Kang Kyung-wha in Seoul. He will then be received by the S. Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon and meeting Korea’s Metropolitan Ambrosius.

His talks in Seoul will focus on boosting South Korean investments in Greece, especially in infrastructure, tourism, and new technology, while both sides emphasise cooperation in shipping and ship building. Athens is also interested in S. Korean expertise in electronic governance based on a memorandum of cooperation signed in October 2017 when the South Korean prime minister visited Greece.