PM Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit Spain since 1992, said the two nations maintain close and cordial relations and he sees great potential in this collaboration. "The strong economic growth of India offers many opportunities for Spanish companies," PM Modi told Spanish daily Expansion in an interview. "It's a great time for Spanish companies to invest in India."
PM Modi said a large number of Spanish companies are doing business in India, and his government wants more firms to invest in the country. "Spanish firms enjoy a worldwide reputation in various fields, such as infrastructure, defence, tourism and energy. These sectors have also been identified by my government as priority sectors," he said.
Spain is the 12th largest investor in India and the seventh largest trading partner in the European Union. Over 200 Spanish companies in India are involved in road construction projects, railways, wind power, water desalination, defence and smart cities projects.
Over 40 Indian companies are based in Spain in technology, pharmaceuticals, automotive and energy sectors. "There are synergies between the experience and priorities of both countries and numerous possibilities for additional investments," PM Modi said.
PM Modi said he was personally committed to helping foreign companies set up operations in India. "We should also increase cooperation in strategic field in areas such as cyber security, maritime cooperation and defence," he said.
PM Modi said Spain and India have been victims of terrorism for a long time, adding both countries need to unite to strengthen the global fight against terrorism. Recalling his meeting with Spanish President Mariano Rajoy in November 2015 on the sidelines of the G20 summit, PM Modi said he has "a great interest in promoting the talks and drawing together an ambitious road map for a greater bilateral commitment between India and Spain."
Former Prime Minister Narashima Rao visited Spain in 1992.