BY SHRI K. R. NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING
CREDENTIALS FROM MR. MANUEL CARDENAS AGUIRRE, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE
OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHILE TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, AUGUST 3,
I have great pleasure
in accepting Your Excellency's Letter of Credence as Ambassador Extraordinary
and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Chile to India, and in extending
to Your Excellency a warm welcome to my country.
Relations between India
and Chile are cordial and friendly. We have also engaged in close collaboration
in various international fora in the cause of world peace and development.
It is a matter of great satisfaction to me that both the countries are keen
to strengthen and diversify their already existing cooperative relationship.
We in India have watched
with growing admiration Chile's triumphant transition to democracy and the
remarkable success your country has had in the economic arena. It is this
recognition of your achievements that has led to expressing our intention
to sign a Free Trade Agreement with Chile. Also, only last week, as many
as eighty-seven Indian companies participated in a week-long "EXPOINDIA
2000" exhibition in Santiago. It is hoped that this interaction between
the private sectors of the two countries would lead to substantial increase
in bilateral trade and investment.
Excellency, Chile has
been playing an important role in major regional economic groupings. You
are already a member of APEC and are likely to become a full member of MERCOSUR
in the near future. We in India recognize the growing importance of Latin
America in international affairs and would like to seek your assistance
in developing institutional linkages with major economic groupings in the
Excellency, despite geographical
distance and communication barriers our bilateral trade has been growing
steadily. There are a number of areas such as information technology, biotechnology,
pharmaceuticals, etc., where Indians have reached global standards. Chile,
too, has a highly trained and motivated work force and rich natural resources
that form the basis of its economic prowess. We look forward to cooperation
between our two countries to harness resources in such a way that both the
countries can benefit.
I take this opportunity,
Excellency, to assure of my government's full support and cooperation in
the discharge of your responsibilities. I am confident that relations between
India and Chile will be further strengthened and assume their true potential
during your tenure in India.
I wish Your Excellency
all the success and personal happiness during your stay here. I would also
like to avail of this opportunity to convey through you to H.E. President
Ricardo Lagos Escobar, my most cordial greetings and my very best wishes
for the progress and prosperity of the people of Chile.