Hon'ble President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil is going on a State visit to Seychelles and South Africa from April 30 2012 and will be accompanied by a 65 member strong Indian businessmen's delegation as a part of the entourage.
The honour to be the leader of the Indian Business delegation has been conferred on Chairman OIA, Ambassador Dr. V. B.Soni. He will be steering the Business Forum and all the sessions on behalf of the Indian delegation during visit to both the countries.
On the eve of the visit, Hon'ble President invited selected business leaders for a briefing session at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi on April 26, 2012. Others present on the occasion were Secretary to the President, Dr. Christy Fernandez and Secretary (West) in Ministry of External Affairs, Mr. M. Ganapathy.
As the leader of the Business delegation, Ambassador Soni was asked to make a presentation on their behalf and the Hon’ble President took keen interest in the briefing.
As she took leave after the meeting, Hon’ble President told Chairman OIA that she looked forward to Indian businessmen taking new initiatives to capitalize the business opportunities coming up in the two countries.
We bring you OIA Chairman, Ambassador Dr. V. B. Soni’s opening remarks at the Briefing Session:
- Hon’ble Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of India
- Mr Ganapathi, Secretary (West), MEA
- Dr Christy Fernandez, Secretary to the Hon’ble President and
- Members of the delegation
On behalf of the Indian Industry ASSOCHAM, FICCI and CII, I would like to thank Hon’ble President for giving us the honour to meet and discuss about the issues that can be capitalized by the Indian Industry as a result of the goodwill that will be generated during your State visit to Seychelles.
Relations between India and Seychelles have a long historical dimension of being close and friendly. It is felt that some economic content should be added to make it even more meaningful and enduring. Trade and investment would be the key to cement this relationship.
It is my pleasure to lead this delegation which consists of senior leaders representing a wide range of industry and trading activities. Some have already transacted business with Seychelles and others are keen on exploring opportunities of conducting future business. Our delegation comprises of the delegates from wide ranging areas i.e. infrastructure, petrochemicals, food processing, healthcare, leather, mining, telecommunications, energy and education etc.
The India Seychelles bilateral trade stood at US $ 40 million in 2010 and 2011. Exports from India which stood at US $ 31.50 million include buses, agricultural and food items, rice, cereals and consumer goods, textiles, engineering, and automobile goods, construction materials, drugs and pharmaceuticals etc. There is tremendous potential for collaborations in the sectors like Tourism/Hospitality, Fishery/Marine, agriculture, Transport, Industry/Manufacturing, Health and health related, Financial & IT, Port development, Property development, Education etc.
May I add that the three apex trade and Industry associations of India i.e, ASSOCHAM, CII and FICCI are working towards producing a well thought out business plan for creating the edifice for sustainable and balanced trade, not just in commodities but a diversified portfolio with depth and breadth.
My own company OIA has been active in Africa…….
Hon’ble President on behalf of colleagues in the Indian industry and my own I would like thank you and your office for providing us the opportunity today to interact and raise issues which we feel should be given the importance they deserve. We need your guidance and blessings.
We wish and pray for your successful, fruitful and pleasant visit to Seychelles