Need to deepen economic engagement with India: Albanian Foreign Minister

New Delhi: Acknowledging India as a major international player and an economic power, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania, Igli Hasani, said on Thursday that immense possibilities of cooperation exist between the two countries in spheres ranging from IT, digitisation, tourism and economy.

Hasani, who arrived here for the 9th Raisina Dialogue on Wednesday, said that Albania will soon open an embassy in New Delhi and further strengthen and deepen the bilateral relationship, which he described as “excellent”.

Albania, he said, is moving rapidly to foster stronger economic ties with India.

“I’m so happy to find the opportunity to visit the country for the Raisina Dialogue… we are working great together but at the same time, we should deepen economic engagement between our countries because the potentials are high, the possibilities are immense, and we need to create the necessary mechanisms to make things happen,” Hasani said in a media interaction with reporters in the capital.

The minister who had interactions with entrepreneurs and businesses from both Albania and India said that the country would like to profit from India’s expertise in IT, innovation, and digitisation.

“Your country is worldwide famous for IT, IT infrastructure, digitisation, and innovation. You are one of the actors, and we would not only like to profit from you and your expertise but also look at great opportunities,” he said.

“India is currently the fifth-largest economy in the world and is soon to go up and higher… this is something that should only encourage us to do more on not only possibilities but mechanisms to make this engagement as profitable for our people as possible.” Hasani said one of the first things he prioritised after taking over as the country’s foreign minister last year, was to “increase engagement with India” and increase opportunities of working with the Indians.

Speaking of the Indian community in Albania, he said it is “small but significant” and a rise in their number will only benefit the country in terms of their expertise in business and many other aspects.

Albanian language traces its roots in Sanskrit and has a strong connect with India, and according to recent Ministry of External Affairs data, approximately 400 Indians are in Albania with most of them being temporary workers.

With nearly 50,000 Indians visiting the country located in south-eastern Europe in the Balkan Peninsula last year, Hasani said there are possibilities of having direct flights from India to Albania.

“At the same time, possibilities of Albanians visiting India should be well explored because you have a beautiful country, you have an excellent history. You have such good traditions and I am sure my compatriots will enjoy visiting,” the minister said.

“In terms of opportunities, I would say that we are at the threshold of the partnership between India and Albania touching heights that have never been seen before. And the kind of similarities and synergies that the two countries have is, in many ways, I would say mind-boggling,” Honorary Consul General of Albania to India, Dikshu Kukreja, who was present along with the minister, said.

India and Albania completed 65 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2021 and held their third Foreign Office Consultations in Delhi last year, reviewing bilateral, regional, and international issues.


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