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Remarks by His Excellency Mr. Dinesh Bhatia, Ambassador of India at the Reception to celebrate the 66th Republic Day of India at India House, Abidjan on 26 January 2015

Posted on: January 26, 2015 | Back | Print

H.E. Mr. Moussa Dosso, Minister for Employment and Training

Excellencies The Ministers of Government of Cote d'Ivoire

Excellencies The Heads of Diplomatic Missions and their Spouses in Cote d'Ivoire

Senior officials of Government of Cote d'Ivoire

Indian citizens present here

Our Ivorian friends and well wishers

Members of the media

Ladies & Gentlemen

At the outset, I wish to convey best greetings to each one of you on behalf of Government and people of India, my family, my Embassy staff and on my own behalf on this solemn occasion of 66th Republic Day of India. I have been in Cote d'Ivoire for over 9 months.  And it feels home for my family and myself. This would not have been possible without the blessings and acceptance of people of Cote d'Ivoire.

2.     India and Cote d'Ivoire are poised for a deep friendship and expanding relationship. Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Daniel Kablan Duncan made his second visit to India in less than two years, in November 2014.  He opened up a large number of avenues for trade, investment and economic opportunities between our two countries. 

3.     In his indefatigable spirit, he, on his return invited a large Indian business and investment delegation to Cote d'Ivoire in early December. I am extremely happy that both the Governments are working very closely to encourage private sector to take advantage of plethora of opportunities. 

4.     I have said it on numerous occasions and I reiterate that the land in Cote d'Ivoire is blessed. It offers unbound and yet to be fully tapped potential for agriculture and in mining.

5.     India has made its efforts in partnering with Cote d'Ivoire.  We have supported Cote d'Ivoire for several infrastructure projects through our Lines of Credit. A total of US$ 136 million has been extended to Cote d'Ivoire so far.  Some new Lines of Credit are also being discussed. 

6.     India has provided 80 slots each year under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme to Cote d'Ivoire during the last two years.  Under this programme we provide fully paid scholarships to help Cote d'Ivoire in capacity building under the true spirit of South-South Cooperation. We also provide 10 fully paid scholarships for under-graduate and post-graduate courses every year to Cote d'Ivoire.

7.     In addition to this, there is an estimated over a couple of thousand Ivorian students studying in various Private Universities in India, particularly in and around the Southern city of Bengaluru. 

8.     Over 1500 strong Indian community is residing in Cote d'Ivoire and building this nation in its own modest way by contributing to the economy in a peaceful and disciplined manner.

9.     Excellencies, a new Government took over in India last year under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi. The New Government is steadfast in its approach to assist and partner the developing countries around the world, particularly in Africa.

10.   Cote d'Ivoire is moving towards the next Presidential elections in October 2015. I wish to convey our best wishes for a peaceful and credible election which would herald Cote d'Ivoire in another era of peace, stability and prosperity.  We are committed to help Cote d'Ivoire in its election process in a manner desired by the Ivorian authorities. The Electronic Voting Machines which are the flagship of technology created by the largest democracy in the world are on offer to be used in the forthcoming Ivorian elections.  

11.   I take this opportunity to convey to the leadership of Cote d'Ivoire – H.E. President Alassane Ouattara, H.E. Madam Dominique Ouattara along with President of National Assembly H.E. Mr. Soro Kigbafori Guillaume, Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Daniel Kablan Duncan and his entire Government for their continued benevolence and graciousness towards Indian community in Cote d'Ivoire.  

12.   With these words, I would like to thank Minister Moussa Dosso for representing the Government of Cote d’Ivoire and joining us for the celebrations in Abidjan of the 66th Republic Day of India. I also thank each one of you for your participation this evening. I would also like to thank everyone who has contributed directly or indirectly in organising this function.

Thank you.