Address Governor at the GOPIO International Chamber of Commerce (GICC)
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the inauguration of the GOPIO International Chamber of Commerce (GICC) at Garware Club House, D Road, Marine Drive, Mumbai at 6.30 PM on Tuesday 10 January 2017
Shri Raj Purohit, Hon’ble Member of Maharashtra State Legislature, Shri Niraj P Baxi, President, Global Organization of People of Indian Origin’s International Chamber of Commerce, members of the Executive Team of the Chamber, delegates, ladies and gentlemen,
I am extremely happy to be with you for the launch of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin’s International Chamber of Commerce in Mumbai.
Let me begin by saying ‘welcome home’.
I hope you had a memorable meetings during the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas event in Bangalore.
With the opening of the GOPIO International Chamber of Commerce (GICC), a new chapter is being opened today in your relationship with India.
I applaud the President Mr Niraj Baxi, the newly elected Executive Team of the Chamber and the entire GOPIO General Body for its thoughtful decision of opening the Chamber in Mumbai, which happens to be the commercial capital of India.
I am pleased to note that the new chamber GICC will be focusing on some of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives like “Make in India,” “Skill India” and “Digital India.”
It is gratifying to know that GOPIO has 70 chapters in 30 countries. GOPIO is having extensive contacts in different countries, and therefore I have no doubt in my mind that the new chamber will serve as a globally networked business promotion group.
This will prove to be the most fruitful and fulfilling engagement for you as indeed for the people of India.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Indian Diaspora is estimated to be the second largest in the world and has a diversified global presence. The Diaspora is estimated at about 25 million and spread across 200 countries with a high concentration in regions such as the Middle East, USA, Malaysia, South Africa, etc.
It fills our heart with immense pride and happiness when we hear or read about Persons of Indian Origin becoming Presidents, Prime Ministers, Vice President, Governors or Parliamentarians in their country.
The Story of the overseas Indian community is truly a saga of hard work, determination and success. The success story has been scripted by ordinary people under most trying circumstances and often in extra ordinary situations.
It is a tribute to the Indian Diaspora that it has assimilated with local cultures while at the same time preserving and protecting its Indian identity and culture.
Many of you have learnt the languages of your host countries and have integral part of the new societies and economies.
Today you are contributing to the economy of your country in a significant measure.
I think every single successful person of Indian origin has a story of his life. I do feel that this story needs to be told to modern India so that there is better understanding and appreciation of your work.
Brothers and Sisters,
In recent years, India has emerged as a major economic power in the world. Our impressive rate of economic growth has earned us the envy and attention of the world. There is a consensus among leaders of the world that India has arrived on the global stage. I am sure, this change of perception of the world towards India, will benefit the Indian industry in many ways.
Since coming to power less than 3 years ago, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi has given an aggressive push to India’s foreign policy and economic diplomacy. He has taken many bold decisions in the larger interest of the nation. He is determined to create a clean, transparent and business – friendly ecosystem and to rid the nation of the scourge of corruption.
The Prime Minister’s visits to more than 30 countries have given impetus to India’s economic, trade and strategic relations with these countries.
These engagements have created immense possibilities for advancing the economic and strategic interests of India.
Initiatives such as the ‘Make in India’, Digital India, Smart Cities Mission, Swachch Bharat Abhiyan and others have created numerous possibilities for the growth of business and commerce in India. This is therefore right time for the Diaspora to reconnect with India.
Within India, Maharashtra is a leading industrial state contributing 13 per cent of national industrial output. Pharmaceuticals, Petrochemicals, Heavy Chemicals, Electronics, Automobiles, Engineering, Food Processing and Plastics are some of the major industries in the state. The city of Mumbai houses the headquarters of top banking and financial institutions in the country. It is also home to Bollywood, perhaps the biggest film industry in the world. The possibilities for cooperation with Maharashtra and India at large are infinite, and I am sure business leaders from the Indian Diaspora and the GOPIO International Chamber of Commerce will take advantage of these opportunities. This will help you to contribute to the development and growth of India. India will benefit from your experience and experties in different fields.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister has given the new mantra of ‘Start up India, Stand Up India’. We need a generation of youth who will accept the challenge and become entrepreneurs.
It would be ideal for GOPIO Chamber to have a dynamic youth-wing and an equally dynamic women’s-wing.
As Governor of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, I happen to be the Chancellor of nearly 40 universities where an estimated 4.5 million students are pursuing higher education. We have universities for Agriculture, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Technology, Health Sciences, Distance Learning and Sanskrit Universities, apart from traditional universities. I will personally welcome cooperation in the area of education and human resources development between the Diaspora and Indian universities.
With these words, I once again, congratulate the office bearers of the GOPIO International Chamber of Commerce for creating the Chamber. I wish you all well in your endeavours. I also wish you a pleasant and enjoyable stay in India.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!