PM Gordon Brown of UK visited India to attend the 4th India-UK Summit which took place in New Delhi from 20 – 21 January 2008. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met Mr. Gordon Brown again in London on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit on 1 April 2009. Mr Nicholas Sarkozy, President of France, accompanied by a high level Ministerial and business delegation, visited India from 25 – 26 January 2008 and was the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visited Paris for the India-France Bilateral Summit on 30 September 2008. Both PM and President Nicolas Sarkozy reaffirmed the Strategic Partnership between India and France and their commitment to further strengthen cooperation in core areas such as civil nuclear cooperation, space and defence. Germany continued to be India’s largest trading partner within the EU. Dr. Frank Walter Steinmeier, German Federal Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited India, from 19-21 November 2008. Recently, scientific and technological cooperation has emerged as one of the key elements in the Indo-German interaction. Bilateral visits between India and Spain at the ministerial level continued during the period, the most notable being the visits by Indian Ministers of Finance, Health and Family Welfare and Petroleum and Natural Gas, to Spain. India continued to strengthen bilateral relations with Italy at different levels. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met PM Mr. Silvio Berlusconi on 24 October 2008 on the sidelines of the ASEM Summit in Beijing.
India has traditionally enjoyed warm, friendly and close relations with countries of the Nordic as well as Central and Eastern Europe. Efforts to diversify and deepen India’s friendly relations with these countries were pursued assiduously. The potential for high technology manufacturing in India, cooperation in petroleum, non-conventional energy. bio-technology, nano-technology and engineering, together with areas like deep-sea fishing and food processing raised new possibilities for collaboration. Ministerial and official interactions with these continued. Mr. Kostas Karmanlis, Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic visited India from 10 – 13 January 2008. Mr. Ferene Gyurcsany, Prime Minister of Hungary visited India from 16-19 January 2008. During his visit, he called on the President and met the, Prime Minister UPA Chairperson, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Ministers of External Affairs, Petroleum & Gas and Commerce & Industry. From Sweden, Trade Minister, Public Health Minister, Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy and Crown Prince visited India during the period. The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs from the Swedish Parliament paid an official visit to India in January 2009. Bilateral visits between India and the Czech Republic included the visit by MoS (AS) Shri Anand Sharma and Commerce & Industry Minister Shri Kamal Nath and from the Czech side, the visit by their Industry and Trade Minister and the Chief of the General Staff of Czech Armed Forces. Former President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam visited Finland in April 2008 to attend a seminar there and President of Finland Mrs. Tarja Halonen visited India from 5 – 7 February 2009 to attend the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit. With Poland, there were regular visits at various levels. General Deepak Kapoor, Chief of Army Staff, paid a goodwill visit to Poland in March 2008. Following the visit of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, to India from 4 – 8 February 2008, bilateral relations between the two countries were further strengthened. There was increased interaction between India and Turkey during 2008-09. The Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid an official visit to India from 21-24 November 2008.