Address by Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Honourable Vice President of India at the Indian Community Reception organized by the High Commissioner of India to Botswana, Dr. Rajesh Ranjan, at Baisago Convocation Centre, in Gaborone, Botswana on November 01, 2018.

Gaborone, Botswana | November 1, 2018

"I feel privileged to be with you in Botswana, a land of god-gifted serenity and natural beauty.

I am delighted to see your enthusiasm and thank you all for coming here.

My dear friends,
I know that many of you have been living here for several decades and have made Botswana your second home. I understand and appreciate the aspiration and desires of the Indian community which exudes vibrancy and dynamism.

The Indian diaspora in Botswana has not only well-integrated into its pluralistic, free and democratic society, but, also have immensely contributed to the economy of Botswana.

I know that most of you are engaged in education, medicine, accounting, retail and manufacturing sectors and have been actively contributing to create local employment.

By sheer perseverance, determination and adaptation, you have carved a niche and respect for yourselves and have endeared both to Botswana and India alike.

Your support to Government of Botswana’s socio-economic welfare and charity programme as well as active and enthusiastic involvement in the events of national importance has been greatly acknowledged and appreciated both by people of Botswana and India.

I have been informed that Indian community has been organising and participating in socio-cultural programmes and fulfilling their corporate social responsibility in the form of charitable donations to the society.

I appreciate their feelings for fellow-Indians and highly admire these compassion which led them to collect and donate a sum of Rs. 50 lakh for the victims of Kerala floods.

We Indians take pride in being enterprising, inclusive and law abiding community. In whichever part of the world they live, Indians have excelled.

As your presence here in Botswana itself is a testimony to the fact that our relationship with Botswana have been historic and friendly. Both the countries have common commitment to democratic values for improving our people’s quality of life.

In fostering our relationship, Indian community has been playing a big role by virtue of their entrepreneurship, economic activities and people to people contacts. I have been told that our bilateral trade has been steadily improving over the last few years and only in 2017-18 has registered a significant growth of 26% bringing it to US$ 1.75 billion.

We are taking earnest efforts to elevate this relationship to a new height by making Indian investments in the areas of agriculture and dairy, MSME particular in leather and food processing, mining, diamond beneficiation, education and health and, thus, to tap the great potential Botswana offers.

Yesterday, I was given the honor to inaugurate the 13th Global Expo Botswana- 2018 with Hon’ble Vice President of Botswana. I am delighted to see a large contingent of Indian businessmen and industry houses who are willing to avail this opportunity and become a part of Botswana’s development.

I am very happy to know that Hon’ble President of Botswana, Mr. Masisi has special appreciation for Indian diaspora and has been participating in Indian cultural and religious programmes like Vaishakhi, etc.

It gives me great satisfaction that his government has affirmed its continued protection and cooperation to the Indian community.

Government of India attaches great importance to its fellow countrymen who are living abroad.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
I am glad that you have contributed hugely to the successful story of Botswana’s economic growth.

I would urge you to look at the transformation that India is undergoing. The results from the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2019’ report published yesterday have a powerful message that all Indians should feel very happy about. The report said, “India, which is a top improver for a second consecutive year, implemented six reforms in the past year and advanced to 77th place in the global ranking. India is now the region’s top-ranked economy…. Starting a business was made easier through consolidation of multiple application forms and introduction of a Goods and Services Tax (GST).”

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
India is changing rapidly. The business environment is changing for the better. The archaic regulations are being dismantled. Seamless processes are being introduced.

We are now an aspirational India that is being driven by the dreams of more than 600 million young women and men below the age of 35 years.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
You have ventured out into the global arena and made a mark. I would suggest that you should also look at how you can contribute to the exciting growth story unfolding in India today.

We have a whole new set of opportunities that are opening up. There can’t be a better time than now to invest in India.

You are aware that Government of India has launched several flagship schemes for making India a skilled and knowledge society and manufacturing hub. In addition, several progressive measures like the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) have been taken to make it a transparent and integrated market with greater ease of doing business.

India has taken a major leap towards financial inclusion by encouraging 330 million persons to open bank accounts. Tax base has widened by 26% in the last one year with nearly 68 million tax payers paying taxes. We have an ambitious agenda to make India a $ 5 trillion economy by 2025.

India is at an inflection point and is poised for greater growth in the coming years.

If the talented enterprising Indian diaspora can lend its active support, the pace and quality of transformation can be considerably enhanced.

I wish each one of you all success in your professional and personnel endevours. I hope you will continue to cherish your Indian roots and the rich cultural tradition you have inherited and nourish the socio-economic and cultural life of Botswana and other countries with which you may be connected.

You are India’s cultural ambassadors and the world sees you as the representatives of Indian values and way of life.

I am happy that many of you have done India proud.

Please continue the mission of carrying India’s message to the world in your interactions with other country men and women. Also bring back the best from other countries to India so that our country can advance much more rapidly.

Thank you

Jai Hind!"