The Vice President’s 9-day tour of Gabon, Senegal and Qatar came to a successful conclusion today, with Shri Naidu returning to India later this evening. While the Vice President’s tour to Gabon and Senegal was India’s first high-level visit, his visit to Qatar was the first by an Indian Vice President. During the visits, he had in-depth discussions with the senior leaders of each country. Shri Naidu also interacted with the business fraternity and Indian community of the three countries at receptions held in her honor in the capitals of Libreville, Dakar and Doha.
The Vice President addressed the Indian Diaspora community in Qatar in Doha yesterday. Congratulating them on their achievements, Shri Naidu said the Qatari leaders he met during the visit had an extremely positive view of the Indian community and appreciated their significant contribution to the development of the country. He said that “the 7.80 lakh strong Indian community in Qatar is a living bridge between the two countries”.
Shri Naidu observed that there has been a deepening of relations between India and Qatar, pointing to the highest ever bilateral trade of over $15 billion last year. He also noted that more than 50 wholly owned Indian companies are located in Qatar in various fields such as infrastructure, IT and energy and that the 15,000 jointly owned companies add momentum to the India-Qatar economic partnership.
Noting that India and Qatar will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic relations next year, Shri Naidu said that “countries are building a ‘comprehensive energy partnership.’ is also growing in the defence, security, health and education sectors”. He further recalled that the two sides had agreed in principle to establish an Indian chair at Qatar University and to continue cooperation in the fields of sports and culture. cited the launch of a start-up bridge between India and Qatar the day before as an example of the growing ties between the countries.
The Vice President highlighted various achievements of the Government of India in the recent past – in managing the COVID pandemic and providing vaccines to the world, building infrastructure and connectivity, providing health and welfare to the poor, in the field of sustainable development – among other initiatives. He pointed out that “the government is integrating technology at its core for the well-being of the people and making it people-centric to transform governance and service delivery.”
Referring to diversity in India, the Vice President said Indians should be proud of the fact that India is the largest democracy in the world and all citizens have equal rights under the constitution regardless of either their caste, creed, religion or region.
Shri Naidu called on the diaspora community to participate in India’s growth story and “maintain a connection with the Janma Bhoomi”. In his message to young Indians going abroad, the Vice President asked them to “learn, earn and come back” to share prosperity with their homeland. “Each of you can contribute to the rapid socio-economic development and transformation taking place in India. We can greatly benefit from the skills and talents of the diaspora. Find out how you too can join national efforts to make a difference in the lives of fellow Indians,” he said. He also wanted Indians living abroad to preserve and protect their mother tongue.
Reassuring the community that the Indian government is strengthening ties with the Diaspora and caring for Indians everywhere, he said that “your strength is India’s strength, and India’s power is your power”. He cited the examples of Vande Bharat Mission, Operation Ganga and Operation Devi Shakti as examples of India’s successful expatriation efforts even under difficult circumstances.
Shri Naidu applauded the efforts of the entire Indian Diaspora, saying that “the success of each of you and other overseas Indian family members has dramatically changed the global perception of Indians and India” . Stating that India today is known for innovation, incubation and out of the box ideas, Shri Naidu said that our young people are doing very well in these areas and the whole world admires them.
Emphasizing that peace is a prerequisite for progress, Shri Naidu wished that each country avoid violence and look at each other with respect. Our ultimate goal is to bring happiness into people’s lives, he said.
During this visit, the Vice President is accompanied by Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Shri Sushil Kumar Modi, MP, Shri Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, MP, Shri P. Ravindranath, MP and Senior Officials in the Vice President’s Secretariat and Ministry of External Affairs.
(With GDP entries)