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Modi and external affairs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's great initiative to maintain good relation with neighboring and developed countries is good for mutual economic development. Narendra Modi made 2-day Bhutan trip which was PM's first foreign trip since taking over charge as a prime minister. During Modi's tour, both countries reaffirmed their promise for cooperation and discussed ways to further increase economic ties. During his visit, Mr. Modi addressed a Joint Session of the Parliament of Bhutan and exceptional address was well received by the people of Bhutan. In his speech, Mr. Modi said that both countries are bounded by common interests and shared prosperity. India and Bhutan enjoy a unique and special relationship which has been forged by ties of geography, history and culture. Therefore, Bhutan was the destination for his first visit abroad. There are several agreements made in Modi's visit to Bhutan. India and Bhutan restated their commitment to accomplish the 10,000 MW target in hydropower cooperation and not to allow their territories to be used for interests unfriendly to each other. Modi inaugurated India's assistance projects, the building of the Supreme Court of Bhutan and laid foundation stone of the 600MW Kholongchu Hydro-electric project, a joint venture between India and Bhutan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also mooted the idea of an annual hill sports festival with India's northeastern states along with Bhutan and Nepal. Both the nations discussed free trade arrangement between them and expansion of bilateral trade. Shri Modi said that Bhutan is unique trait of laying thrust on 'Gross National Happiness' rather than Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and stated one of the parameters for measuring this could be the consideration that it has a "neighbour like India. Modi chose Bhutan as a first choice for his first visit overseas in order to strengthen relationship.

To develop strong relationship with neighboring country, Modi's Nepal visit open new chapter for economic enhancement. The two-day visit on Aug 3-4 in both countries reveals Modi's interest in developing better ties with neighbors. In Nepal, Mr. Modi's inspiring address in the Legislature-Parliament, high-level political talks, bilateral agreements and exchange of assistance took place during the visit, his meeting with political leaders and their outcomes have made the visit fruitful. In his speech, he gave two important messages. The first message was that person can only serve the society through principles and not arms, and Nepal has been able to send a strong message to the world by proving that. He must also have hinted that success in constitution writing in Nepal may also have good effect on mitigation of violent conflicts even inside India. The second message was that he ended indecision and doubts regarding birthplace of Lord Buddha. Taking names of Buddha and Lumbini nine times during his speech, he made clear that India does not want to remain stuck on such petty issues. Prime Minister said that his Government gave the highest priority to relations between the two countries. In his visit to Nepal, Mr. Modi "Prime Minister made several announcements of Indian aid for priority projects of Nepal. Reports indicated that the US$ 1 billion concessional line of credit will be over and above the existing US$ 350 million lines of credit to Nepal. The Terms of Reference of the 5600 MW Pancheshwar Multi-Purpose Project were agreed upon, and the Pancheshwar Development Authority will be set up and the DPR will be finalized soon. Both sides decided to conclude a Power Trading Agreement in 45 days, and the Government of Nepal assured that a Project Development Agreement on the 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydropower Project would also be finalized in 45 days. Both sides expressed a desire for early conclusion of three other PDAs namely the 900 MW Arun III, the 600 MW Upper Marsyangdi and the 880 MW Tamakoshi III. It is observed that after taking oath as a prime minister, Mr. Modi's main focus is to strength healthy economic relations with neighbors.

His visit to Japan will definitely make strong future relations between Tokyo and New Delhi. As Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe agreed during their talks, this relationship has strategic significance for both countries as they pursue common goals for brighter future. In his five day tour to Japan, Mr Modi emphasized on three factors to strengthen relations and to enhance country's development that include economic engagement, defense cooperation and technology transfer. News reports have indicated that Japan has realized the business prospects in India and it will invest money and develop business relations to escalate profit. Japan has plan to invest $35 billion over the next five years in India. This is a huge commitment and the main focus of Japan will be on developing India's inflexible infrastructure. The two countries signed five pacts covering defense exchanges, cooperation in clean energy, roads and highways, healthcare and women in order to develop healthy relationship to newer level. With an effort to exchange ideas and business, Japan also took major steps to enhance bilateral relation as and lifted ban on six Indian entities including Hindustan Aeronautics Limited which was imposed as a result of 1998 nuclear tests.

Mr Modi observed that Japan is one of India's neighboring partners in political, economic, security and cultural realms besides being major regional and global partner for India. A highpoint of the visit is Modi's tour of Japan's 'smart city' Kyoto, which is an illustration of cultural tradition and innovation, merging the Prime Minister's own dream to develop hundred smart cities in the country. Mr Modi has positive attitude toward Japanese business persons and he told them that a "red carpet, not red tape" awaits them when they want to invest in India. He further spoke that it is good opportunity to expand business, manufacture the products in India and government will provide all amenities to grow business which is good for customers. It is observed that Indian and Japanese companies can cooperate in the manufacturing sector, mainly in the automobile industry because there are numerous Japanese car producers in India such as Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda that can work together with Indian auto majors like Tata Motors, Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Premiere, and TVS, establishing hubs in industrial areas of both nations on mutual reciprocity plan. India can collaborate its internationally appreciated 'cost effective solutions' to produce the best cars at the lowest price. In the IT sector, joint collaboration, for instance, between Toshiba and HCL, or in the mobile telephony between Sony and Micromax seems a good opportunity. It is assessed that in his early stage of holding prime minister post, Narendra Modi took positive step to visit Japan and enjoyed friendly relations with prime minister Shinzo Abe which indicates increasing co-operation and incorporation of both nations' economic and defense plans in a new regional strategic partnership. Both leaders are self-motivated, tech savvy, and quite young leaders representing the 'patriotic hopes and aspirations of their countries.

When evaluating China's relation with India, Modi's main aim to increase good rapport with country for future business development. Beijing, major city of China is hopeful about China-India bonds under the regime of Indian PM Narendra Modi. After elected as PM, Modi was congratulated by Chinese head of government, Li and he told Modi that China is looking forward to enhance mutual trust with India and regards India's constant development as an opportunity for China. Mr Modi also responded in positive manner and said that present government put immense importance to Indo-china relationship. China is certainly interested in pursuing a closer economic relationship with India. Xi Jinping, the Chinese president affirmed in his visit to Delhi that China would invest billions of dollars over the next five years in railways, industrial parks and, potentially, nuclear power in India. Xi further added that China would support India becoming a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional security body whose largest members are China and Russia.

Mr. Modi continually making efforts to develop strong ties with developed nations. The PM's visit to the US is also fruitful as both Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama has ended with a new agenda between countries. During his five-day visit to the US, Narendra Modi had thrown lots of speeches, attended meetings with senior CEOs, and addressed the UN General Assembly and an Indian-American community. He also had a private dinner with President Obama. In first formal meeting on September 30, Obama appreciated the initiatives of the Indian PM and his robust approach to address India's challenges since taking office. Mr Modi, who got sweeping victory election in May 2014 had promised to recuperate the weakening Indian economy. PM Modi and President Obama pledged to set a new plan for prosperity of two countries. The new agenda is mainly concentrated on two main themes that include strengthening of joint security co-operation and enhancing bilateral economic relations. The strengthening of joint security co-operation will comprise of improving bilateral intelligence information sharing, battling terrorism and law enforcement co-operation. Currently, major focus will be to tackle the threat from "Islamic State" as well as al Qaeda.

Mr Modi has also set plan to purchase US defense equipment and more US-Indian manufacturing joint ventures to develop the Indian defense trade. The basis for this has been done through the formation of the US-India Defense Trade and Technology Initiative agreed upon in 2012. Bilateral defense relations is also improved by the visit by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to India in August 2014. He made advanced negotiations for a 2.5 billion USD deal for the Indian purchase of Apache and Chinook helicopters. Prime Minister, Mr. Modi is ardent to increase investment inflows from US multinationals into major business and other areas such as manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, smart cities and urban development. Modi's visit is successful in terms of taking active role to boost trade relations with US and he promised that India's new government will be more active to enhance economic development and attract foreign investment. Main aspects for PM Modi's visit are to strengthen US investment into the Indian manufacturing and infrastructure sectors. It is anticipated that US will play active role for advancement of India's defense industry.

Mr Modi has good approach to develop India's 100 smart city program and to become successful. US will support India to make three such cities apart from joining hands with civil society and authorities to provide clean water and sewage facilities in 500 cities of the nation. The three cities are Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam. It is realized that Mr. Modi's visit to US will definitely prolific for the business and friendly relationship with India.

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