India, Croatia sign accords on healthcare, culture

Zagreb: India on Wednesday signed two agreements with Croatia on cooperation in healthcare sector and cultural exchange of experts as Vice President Hamid Ansari began his two-day state visit of the country.

The agreement on healthcare covers areas of cooperation in the field of mother and child health, family planning, public health and nursing, medical research, medical equipment and pharmaceutical products, hospital management standards and curriculum of medical education.

The cultural exchange programme, for a period between 2010-12, provides for cooperation between respective institutions in both the countries and for exchange of experts to enhance practical, mutually beneficial cooperation.

It also provides for a contemporary Indian art exhibition and an Indian miniature paintings exhibition to be held in Croatia, while a contemporary Croatian art exhibition and an exhibition of Croatian cultural heritage will be held in India.

The agreement also provides for enhanced engagement in the field of Indology as Croatian scholars have shown strong interest in this area. It also provides for encouraging performing arts and organisation of film festivals in both countries.

The agreement on Health and Medicine was signed by Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot from the Indian side and Croatia's State Secretary Ministry of Health Ante Zvonimir Golem in the presence of Ansari.

Similarly, the agreement on Cultural exchange was signed by Indian Ambassador Pradeep Singh and Croatian Minister of Culture Bozo Biskupic.

The bilateral cooperation in healthcare will cover exchange of information and delegations besides training and deputation of experts to international meetings held in both the countries.

The annual bilateral trade between India and Croatia is pegged at USD 160 million, which is increasing every year. Croatia supports India's bid for a permanent membership in the UN Security Council and non-permanent seat in the UNSC in 2011-12.