Indo – Czech Relations
India and Czech Republic share historical ties. The contemporary period has seen these historical contacts reinforced on the bilateral level, as well as within the framework of Indo-EU relations. The two countries enjoy rapidly growing trade and economic relations, which reflect the dynamism of their economies. As Czech Republic assumed EU Presidency, India has moved closer to EU.
Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, the famous Indian poet who won the Nobel Prize, visited Czechoslovakia twice in 1921 and 1926. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, two icons of India’s freedom struggle, were associated with the founding of the Indo-Czech Friendship Society. Netaji visited Czechoslovakia in 1933 and 1934. Pandit Nehru visited Czech Republic along with his daughter Indira Gandhi in 1938. Nehru, as well as Tagore, raised their voices against Czechoslovakia’s occupation. After Independence, Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Mrs. Indira Gandhi visited Czechoslovakia in 1955. From the Czech side, President Vaclav Klaus, Prime Minister Paroubek, and Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg have visited India in the past three years.
The Indian economy has been growing at more than 8% per annum for past four years.
Despite the global slow down, India’s growth rate is expected to be 7.2 % in 2009. In 2010, this is expected to go up to 8.5 %, and 9 % next year. This is indeed an impressive record for an economy of India’s size. India is one of the 12 countries in the world with a GDP exceeding US$ 1trillion. In terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), a criterion used by IMF and World Bank, India ranks as the 3rd largest economy in the world.
The exponential growth of Indian economy has created opportunities for EU and Czech companies. The two way trade between India and EU more than doubled in the three year period between 2003 and 2006. The growth of Indo-Czech trade has been even more impressive. This has grown four-fold during the last four years. In both cases – Indo-EU trade, as well as bilateral trade between India and the Czech Republic, the surplus is in favour of EU, and the Czech Republic respectively. This testifies to the openness of the Indian economy.