PM Modi’s foreign destinations in 2022: United Arab Emirates, Germany, Denmark, Indonesia, Russia, Japan, Sri Lanka and Rwanda, India
A slew of countries from West Asia to Europe will be on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s overseas travel list in 2022, all of which depend on the COVID-19 situation around the world.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, few VVIP visits have taken place. Prime Minister Modi visited Bangladesh in March this year, his first overseas visit since November 2019. Since the Dhaka visit, the Prime Minister has traveled to Washington for the Quad summit in New York. for the United Nations General Assembly meeting, in Italy for the G20 summit and in Glasgow in the UK for the climate summit.
The Indian president is traveling to Dhaka later this month, his first overseas visit amid the pandemic.
United Arab Emirates
It now seems clear that the prime minister will visit the UAE in early January. PM Modi will visit the India mega pavilion at the Dubai Expo. This will be Prime Minister Modi’s fourth visit to the country since 2014. He had previously visited this West Asian country which has become a close ally of New Delhi in 2015, 2018 and 2019.
Prime Minister Modi is also expected to travel to Germany for the 6th Indo-German Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC) which alternates every two years between the two countries.
Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited India for the IGC in 2019. Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Berlin will provide an opportunity to meet the new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Asked about the visit, German envoy Walter Lindner, responding to a question from WION earlier this year, said: “You have to ask your prime minister because it’s the norm because every two years, either we come, either the prime minister comes to Germany. Merkel was here two years ago, so next year if the Covid situation allows, your prime minister will be in Germany. So we hope that will happen within the next 6 month, it will be the first official meeting of the two heads of government.
Germany is also chairing the G7 in 2022. India has been a regular guest at the summit since 2019, when France hosted the summit. Last year then-US President Trump spoke of inviting India and others for the summit in the country, but the summit never took place. This year, the UK, as the host, invited India, but due to the second wave of the COVID-19 crisis in India, Prime Minister Modi was unable to attend.
Much of the PM’s visits will be in Europe this year. He is expected to travel to Denmark for the second Indo-Nordic summit. During Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s visit in October this year, she invited the Indian Prime Minister for the second Indo-Nordic summit to be held in Copenhagen in 2022. The first Indo-Nordic summit involving the five Nordic countries – Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland took place in April 2018 in Stockholm.
Bali in Indonesia will see G20 leaders come together for the annual summit of the 20 most powerful economies. Next year’s summit is important for India as the presidency will be handed over to New Delhi. Indonesian President Joko Widodo will hand over the presidency to Prime Minister Modi at the summit scheduled to take place in October 2022. India will host the summit in 2023 for the first time.
Russia will be a key milestone next year for the annual India-Russia summit. The Russian president was in New Delhi in December for the summit which alternates each year between the two countries.
Prime Minister Modi last visited Vladivostok in Russia in 2019 for the summit. President Putin was the only head of state to visit India this year after the Danish Prime Minister visited. New Delhi in pre-Covid times was a bustling capital with many world leaders visiting the country. The last major visit to India was that of the Burmese President and former US President Trump in February 2020.
Japan will be the destination of the second Quad Summit in person. The Quad grouping of India, US, Australia and Japan consolidated this year with a virtual summit followed by a face-to-face summit in September in Washington.
The emerging group that China is not very happy with has worked on a number of issues ranging from the production of Covid vaccines to the Quad principles on technology, design, development and governance. The in-person Quad Summit in Japan is scheduled to take place in February according to early indications.
In the neighborhood, the PM could travel to Sri Lanka for BIMSTEC or the Bay of Bengal Initiative for multisectoral technical and economic cooperation.
Sri Lanka is chairing the group and will host the 5th summit in person next year. The country was due to host the summit this year, but that did not materialize. On the summit’s agenda, the approval of the BIMSTEC Charter, the BIMSTEC Master Plan for transport connectivity and the BIMSTEC Convention on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
The consortium is also working on finalizing the BIMSTEC cabotage agreement and the automotive agreement. In 2019, India invited the heads of government and state of BIMSTEC to the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Modi for the second term. After Sri Lanka, Thailand will host the reunion. The BIMSTEC group has been a priority for India, as SAARC has largely disappeared.
Rwanda is likely to be the prime minister’s destination in Africa as the country hosts the Commonwealth Summit (or Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) CHOGM. The summit has been postponed twice in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid and new dates have been suggested. PM Modi last attended the CHOGM summit in UK in 2018.
ASEAN, SCO & BRICS
Other destinations for the Indian Prime Minister include Cambodia for the ASEAN summit, Uzbekistan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, and China for the BRICS, but that depends on whether the summit is held in person. The BRICS and ASEAN summit has been going on virtually for two years. The SCO summit this year was in hybrid mode due to the COVID-19 crisis.