Honourable Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Mr. Jagdish Tytler
the GOPIO Conference on
“NRI/PIO Business Networking for Trade and Investment
and Contribution of Indian Diaspora in
gives me great pleasure to be present here amidst such a receptive gathering of
our overseas Indian brothers and sisters. Brussels has a large
presence of Indian community which has played a very significant role to make
this city a prominent commercial hub.
Overseas Indian Community is the best and the brightest face of India. The achievements
of Indian Diaspora can be attributed to traditional ethos, cultural values and
its capacity to harmonize and adapt. Industrious, innovative and ever responsive
to opportunities, the Persons of Indian Origin are among the most enterprising
people in the world. I am also fully aware that you have made substantial
contributions in several areas of our national development as well. The
successes that you have achieved have no doubt raised the stature of Indian community and has also
brightened India’s image.
To demonstrate our commitment towards our overseas Indian brethren,
the recently elected Government has created an independent Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. This Ministry shall work
towards forging a dynamic relationship with the overseas Indians, for
facilitating their interaction with India in
diverse fields and ensuring their participation in the economic, social and
technological development of the country. We would like the Overseas Indians to
be a developmental and intellectual bridge so that what was once seen as
a "brain drain" can become a "brain bank" which the nation
can draw on for mutual benefit.
I am sure that in the years to come, India will surprise the world
even more by taking longer and bolder strides ahead. Government is conscious
that we need to move fast in the right direction to realize our goal of making India a Developed Nation
by 2020. In this endeavour, I invite
ideas on how you can directly contribute in making Indian education,
infrastructure, healthcare, financial services, tourism and other service
sectors world class. We are not talking here just of Euros, but of ideas of
individual initiative, of creativity and enterprise, of expertise, of community
The liberalization of Indian economy has
opened up opportunities for investment. It is our effort to create an
environment conducive to investment and with freedom to operate. This new Ministry
will facilitate the endeavours of Overseas Indians and provide a single window
mechanism. The Government is fully committed to enable this two way flow of
ideas and opportunities.
Indian Diaspora has been an important factor in India's relation with
other countries. We are more alive today than ever before to the issues
concerning the welfare of our kith and kin in distant lands. The 20th century
phenomenon of the explosion in the means and the pace of travel and
communications has brought about a closer interaction between Overseas Indians
and their country of origin. It has also encouraged meaningful interactions
between the far flung groups of the Diaspora. Today, instead of the earlier
'hub and spoke relationship' between India and her Diaspora,
we have begun to move towards a network design of a 'web relationship'. India's emergence as a
modem society and the achievements of our brethren has even led to Overseas
Indians playing a major role in
moulding public opinion in their adopted homelands. I seek your
ideas and suggestions on how to further
strengthen the bonds between India and the
global Indian family, bonds which are based on shared values, culture,
philosophy and heritage.
The European Union is one of India's largest
trading partners and is home to a large and influential Indian Diaspora. This
gathering will provide a unique opportunity for the Indian Diaspora in the
region to network. It will also open a new chapter in GOPIO's efforts in
developing strategic relations between the Overseas Indians and Europe and European Institutions.
Government of India has been
recognizing and celebrating the Diaspora's Indian connection and its achievements and
goodwill towards India by organizing the
annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD). During the last two years the event was held
in Delhi and on both the occasions the event
attracted participation of over 1200 overseas delegates from over 60 countries.
This three-day event is inaugurated by the Prime Minister and there are
plenary and sectoral sessions with Cabinet Ministers, State Chief Ministers and
high level dignitaries from across the Diaspora in addition to exhibitions, a
food festival and entertainment evenings. On this occasion, Pravasi
Bharatiya Samman Awards are conferred on prominent overseas Indians who have
made outstanding contributions in various fields.
expectations of the overseas Indian community have been raised by the earlier
two Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and the initiative of the new Government to
constitute an independent Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. The event in
2005 would be organized at Mumbai from 7th to 9th January in a comprehensive
and focused manner commensurate with the expectations of the overseas Indians.
I am, therefore, making a personal appeal to you all to come and attend the
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas-2005 in great numbers and make it a huge success.
be aware that our Government has decided that from Pravasi Bharatiya Divas-2005
onwards, a group of 50, second or third generation Indian youths will be
invited to visit India each year for two
weeks. They would participate in the Pravasi
Bharatiya Divas celebrations and also visit few other States in India for an orientation
Government has also decided to set up a Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in
New Delhi to deal with the
multifarious needs of the Indian Diaspora. For this a suitable plot of land has
been identified in Chanakyapuri area. The Prime Minister has announced a seed
grant of Rs.25 crores for the Kendra.
rest assured that my Ministry will take up with greater vigour issues which
have been of concern and importance, issues which need focused attention
and issues which are close to your hearts. Let us work together to find ways
and means to increase opportunities for you in India, to involve you in
India’s growth and to
invite your investments in the economic and social sectors. It is the spirit of
enterprise and adventure that I want to inject back to India.
I wish the Indian community full success in its
endeavours and once again urge all of you to participate in the third Pravasi
Bharatiya Divas in Mumbai and give us a chance to share your expectations and
experiences so that our engagement can be further enriched and deepened.