New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on October 11embarked on a visit to Comoros and Sierra Leone by declaring that India accorded highest priority to deepening its engagements with African nations.
On his visit, the VP said that India considers Africa as a ‘focus continent’, and is evident by 32 visits at various high levels in the last five years to the continent. Adding that India has also decided to open 18 new embassies in Africa.
Upon landing in Comoros, Naidu was received by the country’s President Azali Assoumani and accorded military honours.
During his first leg of his visit to Comoros, the Vice President addressed the Indian diaspora and urged them to join in scripting new India’s growth story, along with three other D`s–Democracy, Demand and Demographic Dividend.
While lauding the Indians for sharing their prosperity with Comorian brothers and sisters, he asked them to make Comoros more prosperous and also contribute to India’s growth.
“Help create a more prosperous, harmonious, sustainable planet”, he added.
Naidu said he was happy that despite being only about 250 in number, the Indian diaspora has made significant contribution in various fields, including social and economic.
He also lauded the Indians for keeping alive India’s cultural heritage and for enjoying a reputation of being a peace-loving community
Outlining the economic development and social transformation taking place in the new India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Naidu told the diaspora that despite the global slow-down, India continues to be one of the fastest growing major economies and is poised to be a 5 trillion Dollar economy by 2024-25.
Referring to measures taken by the government to boost economy, he said that the recent steep slashing of corporate tax was expected to spur investments.
Calling upon the investor to invest in India, Naidu said, “Doing business in India is not only lucrative to investors but is also becoming simpler. Our policy is now that of ‘Red Carpet’ and not ‘Red Tape’. Many archaic regulations are being dismantled and seamless processes are being introduced”.
The Vice President said that a host of path breaking reforms were initiated, including the transformational GST, that complies with ‘One Nation-One Tax, One Nation-One Market’ approach.
He also said that India has become one of the most open economies of the world for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the wake of the reforms initiated by the government.
He also mentioned that the Start-up India flagship initiative was nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship in the country and the youth were driving the digital revolution and powering the start-up ecosystem.
The Vice President also highlighted that India’s trade with African nations registered a 12% increase from the previous year.
“India is now the 5th largest investor in Africa with a cumulative investment of 54 Billion Dollar”, he added.
Naidu also said that he was looking forward to a fruitful meeting with Comorian President, Assoumani.
India and Comoros are expected to sign several agreements in the presence of both the dignitaries tomorrow.
Naidu also paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th anniversary, and recalled that Mahatma Gandhi drew sustenance for his fight against discrimination and colonial domination, in Africa.
“It was this soil of Africa which gave the nourishment and inspiration and made Mahatma Gandhi what he was. It was Africa that transformed his vision and gave greater clarity to his life’s mission”, he added.
he invited the Indian diaspora of Comoros to attend the next Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas of 2021.
The high-level delegation included Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Rajya Sabha MP Ramvichar Netam and senior officials.