India Greece Relations

2023 SEP 5

Mains   > International relations   >   India and Global Regions   >   India & West Asia


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently visited Greece, the first by an Indian premier in 40 years, for talks with the European country’s top leadership to strengthen bilateral ties.


  • India and Greece established diplomatic relations in 1950. India opened its resident Embassy in Athens in 1978.
  • While connectivity between the two countries was forged by Alexander’s invasion in 326 BCE, exchanges now have been mainly predicated on tourism, trade and migration of labour, without a more comprehensive bilateral strategy at play.
  • In 2022, the volume of bilateral trade increased by 58%, reaching a peak of 1,32 billion Euro, which is highest for the last five years.


  • Economic progress:
    • Greece has overcome several years as an “economic trouble-spot” and over-indebted to Chinese investment and is seeking to diversify its options. India’s ambition to become a global manufacturing hub could now be melded with Greece’s aspirations to become an “economic gateway” to the EU.
  • Counter Turkey:
    • In Greece’s strengthened ties with Israel and Cyprus — in what is seen as a coalition to counter Turkey — India might find some common ground, given Delhi-Ankara tensions over Turkey’s role in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and over Kashmir.
  • Maritime trade:
    • India and Greece were once great maritime powers. But today, they face concerns over the maintenance of maritime security in keeping with international laws, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Indo-Pacific regions.
  • Areas of common interest:
    • India and Greece share common commitment to multilateralism, and a rules-based international order. Greece supports the early reform of the UN Security Council, including the expansion of the UN Security Council and India’s bid for permanent membership.
    • India has extended consistent support to the Cyprus issue whereas Greece has extended the same to India over the Kashmir issue.
  • Cultural:
    • India and Greece, once plundered by colonial powers, have also held discussions on the restoration of artefacts. They may find common cause in pushing legislation through UNESCO to help restore some of their historical property.
  • Military:
    • The Indian Air Force participated for the first time in the multinational exercise ‘Iniochos 23’, which was held in Greece in May. In addition, INS Chennai was at Souda Bay in Crete for joint exercises with the Greek Navy.
    • Greek fighter jets are expected to participate in the Indian ‘Tarang Shakti’ exercise for the first time in September.


  • Defence and Security:
    • India and Greece agreed to intensify their defence and security cooperation, especially in maritime security, counter-terrorism, cyber security, and the defence industry.
  • Establish an India-Greece dialogue framework at the level of National Security Advisors (NSAs).
  • Culture and Tourism:
    • Encourage joint efforts in preserving and protecting ancient sites and strengthen cooperation within the UNESCO.
  • Trade and investment:
    • The countries seek to double bilateral trade by 2030. They agreed to explore new opportunities in sectors such as renewable energy, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and innovation.
  • Mobility and Migration Partnership Agreement (MMPA):
    • They will seek an early finalization of an MMPA, facilitating in particular the free movement of the workforce between the two countries.
  • Broad spectrum of collaboration along various domains, such as digital payments, shipping, pharmaceuticals, and education.


Q. India and Greece are actively seeking a revival of their relationship. Discuss.