BY SHRI K.R.NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE RECEIVING CREDENTIALS FROM
MR. MICHEL CAILLOUET, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE OF THE DELEGATION OF THE
NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 19, 2000
me great pleasure to accept the Letter of Credence from His Excellency
Mr. Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, accrediting you
as the Head of the Commission’s Delegation in India in the rank of Ambassador.
I warmly welcome you to India and extend to you my best wishes for the
fulfilment of your responsibilities. I also take this opportunity to thank
President Prodi for his greetings, which I reciprocate most cordially,
and convey my best wishes to the people of all the 15 nations that constitute
the European Union.
you assume your responsibilities in India at a time when India and European
Union are moving towards developing a truly broad-based relationship.
With the first ever India-EU Summit which was held in Lisbon on June 28,
2000, we have opened a new chapter in our political and economic dialogue
and demonstrated the importance we both attach to our relationship. The
Summit Declaration is a visionary document which covers every aspect of
the India-EU relationship and provides an action plan for upgrading this
to a qualitatively higher level. It also reflects the commonality of views
between India and European Union on many issues, both political and economic,
including a shared conviction that we need to build up a new strategic
partnership in the new century. We hope that the new institutional
architecture proposed by us to further develop and focus the India-EU
relationship will be examined carefully by the EU side so that it can
be made effective as early as possible.
the European Union, as you have observed, share a commitment to the tenets
of democracy, rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, tolerance
and plurality. These values are the underpinnings of the society and polity
which we have built up. They are also the underpinnings of the European
Union and the India-EU partnership. This natural advantage of shared principles
has been built upon through regular exchanges at all levels – ministerial,
senior official, business and people-to-people. We look forward to the
continuation and intensification of these exchanges.
the economic and commercial ties between India and the EU are strong but
do not fully reflect the potential which exists. The EU is India’s largest
trading partner, an important source of investment, a major contributor
of development assistance and a major destination for our service providers.
The complementarities of the Indian and the European economy, however,
do lead us to the conclusion that the current volume of bilateral trade
and investment is but a fraction of what can be possible. The opportunities
can only grow, as the European Union enlarges and as the Indian economic
reforms progress further.
the process of economic liberalisation that we have initiated, we are
also according top priority to the further development and promotion of
the infrastructure of our economy, of science and technology and information
technology. We are striving for a leading position in the emerging areas
of bio-technology, pharmaceuticals and other knowledge based sectors of
the economy. These are just some of the areas in which Indian and European
companies can cooperate effectively. Our need for private investment for
upgrading our power, communications, roads, ports and other infrastructural
facilities, presents a significant opportunity for the European companies
to capitalise upon. India is today a most attractive investment destination
and measures which we have instituted such as automatic approval for FDI
in most areas, single window procedures for fast approvals in others,
reduction of bureaucratic procedures, etc., provide for a conducive business
also been engaged in a sustained effort to move towards a more open trading
regime and greater integration with the global economy. We do agree that
globalisation opens up opportunities which, if properly harnessed, can
bring greater benefits for all. It is important, however, to ensure that
the process of globalisation is as inclusive as possible. As matters stand,
there is a growing perception amongst Indian industry and trade that the
anticipated gains of globalisation to developing economies have not materialised
fully. You will, through interaction with our business community, appreciate
their disappointment with the lack of access to the markets of the developed
world in areas where the developing countries enjoy comparative advantage.
The need to address the broader trade issues with respect to market access
in order to strengthen the libersalisation process will, we hope, also
be appreciated by the European Union.
as we enter the new millennium, the scourge of international terrorism,
narco-terrorism, illicit arms trade and religious extremism presents one
of the most serious threats to international peace, security and stability
and the integrity of nations. The international community needs to address
this challenge through effective and well-coordinated joint effort. We
are happy that India and the EU are co-operating together to combat this
threat and look forward to the early finalisation of the draft Comprehensive
Convention on International Terrorism by the United Nations.
the EU are, as you have observed, both conscious of the major role which
they have to play in the 21st century. Sharing, as we do, a
vision of a world order in which power, responsibilities and opportunities
are shared, we recognise the need for us to work together to realise this
vision. We are fully conscious of the fact that the European Union is
today taking on an international political role that is commensurate with
its well-known economic strength. There can be no doubt that the EU, given
the ongoing process of deepening the Union, will play its due role in
the evolving world order.
I assure you of the full cooperation and support of the Government of
India for the further development of India-EU ties. I wish you a very
fruitful and rewarding stay in India and success in all your endeavours
to further promote our friendship and co-operation.