BY SHRI K.R.NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE RECEIVING
CREDENTIALS FROM MR. BENEDETTO AMARI, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE OF ITALY
NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 29,
I have great pleasure
in welcoming you to India and in accepting the Letter of Credence from His
Excellency President Ciampi accrediting you as the next Ambassador of Italy
The warm and friendly
relationship which exists between our two countries is characterized by
mutually beneficial cooperation. We look upon Italy as an important partner
and value the high level exchanges which have taken place between our two
countries in recent years. These exchanges have contributed to a closer
political understanding between our two countries and we look forward to
Your Excellency, the
economic relationship between our two countries is important and rightfully
merits the attention of our two Governments. Italy is India's fourth largest
trading partner in the European Union. It is also an important investor
with investments close to US $ 700 million in the past nine years. There
is, however, considerable potential for further enhancing these linkages
between our two countries. Our investment needs in the infrastructure field
are large and a significant portion will have to be sourced from abroad.
We look forward to participation by Italy in our infrastructural development.
We are happy that a large
number of Indo-Italian Joint Ventures are operating successfully for the
last many years. The MOU on cooperation in the field of Small Scale Industries,
which was signed during the visit to India of former Prime Minister, H.E.
Romano Prodi in January 1998, is particularly significant. We are aware
that Italy has considerable expertise in this area and would, therefore
welcome cooperation, which would tap the complementarities which exist between
our two economies.
In the international
sphere, Excellency, we believe that the United Nations remains the best
option available to humanity as a global institution. It needs no doubt,
to be democratized and made contemporary for meeting the new challenges
which face the world today. There is, therefore, a need to further invest
political will and resources in this institution. The United Nations should
also be rendered more responsive to the concerns of the vast majority of
its members i.e., the developing countries. We support an enhanced role
for the UN in development and development cooperation dialogue. Any effort
to increase the effectiveness of the organization, however, depends on the
ability to resolve its financial crisis. The Security Council also needs
to be made more representative of the present membership of the UN and today's
Your Excellency, India
has recently gone through the process of democratically electing a new Government.
This, the largest such exercise conducted anywhere in the world, reaffirms
our commitment to the principles and practice of democracy. India is also
a secular country by tradition and by virtue of its Constitution and a country
committed to the fundamental principles of peace and peaceful coexistence.
Mr. Ambassador, I am sure that during your stay in India you will get a
chance to see for yourself how a nation can maintain its unity in the midst
of a diversity of faiths, beliefs and culture.
We share with Italy,
a commitment to the principles of democracy and individual freedom as well
as peaceful coexistence among the nations of the world. I am sure that we
will continue to work together on the basis of shared values towards a peaceful
and equitable world order.
I would like to end by
wishing you, Excellency, a successful tenure in India and assure you of
the fullest cooperation of my Government in the performance of your duties.