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India, Portugal ink 4m euro fund pact to boost research

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Lisbon- India and Portugal on Saturday launched a joint global startup hub soon after Narendra Modi expressed his amazement that there has been no bilateral Indian Prime Ministerial visit ever to this European nation that is home to around 70,000 people of Indian origin.

Modi arrived in the American capital early on Sunday after a day-long working visit to Portugal, the first ever bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister to the European nation.

"President Trump realises that India is a force for good and that will come through in the visit on Monday", a senior official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a roundtable with 21 top executives of US-based companies in Washington.

In a joint address to the media after signing 11 bilateral agreements, Modi and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, who traces his origin to Goa, said the two countries have made substantial progress since Costa visited India in January. The agreements signed included cooperation in outer space, double taxation avoidance, nano technology, improving cultural ties, youth and sports, higher education and scientific research, and Portugal-India business huband Indian Chamber of Commerce.

"We anticipate that their discussions will be broad- ranging, hitting on a variety of regional and global issues that would seek to advance our common priorities, including fighting terrorism, promoting economic growth and prosperity", the official said, briefing reporters at the White House.

Costa thanked the expatriate Indian community's contribution to Portugal's economy and society. "You have effortlessly gelled with the culture of the country you have been", he said.

In the video, two officials are seen attempting to open the door of the vehicle Modi is sat in, but they quickly change their minds for mysterious reasons.

Ahead of his USA visit, Modi said he looked forward to the opportunity of having an in-depth exchange of views. "The whole world is looking at India".

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