New Delhi: Spain today sought India's help in evacuating its nationals from earthquake-hit Nepal when Spanish Foreign Minister called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which the visiting minister also offered his country's expertise in building highways and smart cities.
Garcia-Margallo made the request for assistance to Modi who noted that India was committed to helping all nations affected by the tragedy and assured him of all possible assistance for Spanish nationals, a PMO release said.
Modi and the Spanish minister discussed possible avenues for cooperation in the sectors of Railways, smart cities and renewable energy. The Prime Minister invited Spanish companies to participate in the “Make in India” initiative and set up manufacturing bases in India to connect with the global supply chain, it said.
Congratulating Spain on its election to the UNSC for a non-permanent seat for 2015-17, Modi urged that country to take the lead in coordinating international efforts to combat terrorism, the release added.
Modi also accepted the invitation of Spanish Prime Minister to visit Spain in 2016.
Later, the minister held talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during which they resolved to enhance ties by expanding cooperation in diverse areas. The Spanish side expressed keen interest in participating in projects relating to smart cities, railways, solar power and water treatment.
Besides bilateral issues, Swaraj and the Spanish minister deliberated on global issues of mutual concern. This is the first visit by a Spanish foreign minister in 43 years.
Relations between India and Spain are cordial, particularly since the establishment of democracy in Spain in 1978.
Bilateral Trade between India and Spain was nearly USD 5 billion in 2013. India's exports to Spain included chemicals, textile and garments, iron and steel products, automotive components, marine products and leather goods.
Indian imports consisted of machine and mechanical appliances, vehicles and automobiles, plastic manufactures, electrical appliances, rubber and rubber products and olive oil.