Baku [Azerbaijan]: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday called the Indian diaspora an important component of country's aspiration to be an inclusive, equitable and prosperous nation, adding that they have a momentous role to play in the evolution, growth, and future of India.
Naidu made the remarks while addressing the Indian diaspora in Azerbaijan here. Referring to the transformative economic and social changes taking place in India as a result of the concerted efforts by the government and the strong will of the people of India, the Vice President said that the Indian diaspora formed the 4th 'D' in the quartet of 'D's that was propelling India forward, with the first three being democracy, demand and demographic dividend.
"Through your connections with the local population here, you are well placed to identify opportunities, which will promote linkages between our two countries, not only limited to economic tie-ups, but also to better understanding and appreciation of our culture and heritage in Azerbaijan", he told the Indian community.
The Vice President complimented the vibrant Indian community in the country for contributing positively to the social and economic progress of Azerbaijan and for making a strong impression within the local business community through their hard work and entrepreneurial spirit. He also complimented them for their collective efforts in promoting Indian culture and heritage.
Naidu said that the Indian government considered it a priority to better connect and reach out to its overseas community and added that India had taken many steps to provide better services to its diasporas, such as providing 24-hour access and assistance to those in need. "There is a conscious effort to engage actively with our community around the world through digital platforms and social media, and these initiatives have borne positive fruits," he said.
He urged the members of the Indian community to act as a living bridge between India and Azerbaijan. The Vice President also conveyed his warm Diwali wishes to the members of the diaspora. Referring to the historical civilizational linkages, strong cultural affinities and shared values of respect for diversities of other cultures that bound India and Azerbaijan together since time immemorial, the Vice President called for further deepening of ties between the two nations.
Speaking of the steady growth in bilateral trade, the Vice President stressed upon the need to further enhance economic engagement between the two countries. "I can see many opportunities for Indian companies to engage with their counterparts in the field such as information and communications technology, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, agriculture and food processing to name a few," he added.
Naidu said that India and Azerbaijan have always been strong collaborators in the field of culture. He thanked Azerbaijan for their active participation in celebrating the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary. He also expressed his appreciation to the Government of Azerbaijan for releasing a postal stamp to mark this historic occasion. He said that the Government of India would continue to actively engage with Azerbaijan in the field of culture, to promote appreciation of each other's cultures and to enhance people-to-people contacts.