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Home > Speech of His Excellency Mr. Dinesh Bhatia, Ambassador of India at Golden Jubilee Celebrations of ITEC Day on 17 December 2014 at India House, Abidjan

Speech of His Excellency Mr. Dinesh Bhatia, Ambassador of India at Golden Jubilee Celebrations of ITEC Day on 17 December 2014 at India House, Abidjan



H.E.  The Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire Mr. Daniel Kablan Duncan,


Excellences the Ministers in the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, the High Dignitaries and Functionaries from the Government of Cote d’Ivoire,


All the ITEC programme participants present today, Members of Indian community and media,


My own boss at home Mrs. Bhatia, colleagues from my Embassy,


Ladies and Gentlemen,


          I have the great pleasure and privilege to welcome the Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire H.E. Mr. Daniel Kablan Duncan to this Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Program, popularly known as ITEC. Under this Program, Government of India extends fully paid scholarships to participants in 160 developing countries to do short term to long term courses in a very diverse range of subjects.  All the participants are  provided with full support in terms of travel to India, their boarding and lodging, the course fee, besides being paid a small stipend for their out of pocket expenses.


2.       The ITEC programme has been a resounding success as is evident from such a large congregation of our Ivorian friends who have been beneficiaries of this.  Instead of delving into the history and background of ITEC, I would like to highlight an important fact about India that many of you may not be aware of.


3.       Most of you will be surprised to note that the GDP per capita of Cote d’Ivoire in 2013 was higher than that of India.  Although in PPP (Purchase Power Parity) Terms, India’s GDP per capita stood higher.  However, you would all appreciate that it is the real money which counts and not your purchasing power, no matter what the Economists around the world tell you.  Therefore, in real terms, India which provides nearly 10 thousand scholarships under ITEC every year, has a lower GDP per capita than perhaps majority of the beneficiary countries.


4.       As most of you know India, you may have heard of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, in Sanskrit; meaning the entire world is a family and therefore, we share with the family whatever we have irrespective of our meager resources in the true spirit of South-South Cooperation. At this juncture, let me add that India has just added another 20 slots for Cote d’Ivoire in the current year 2014-15.


5.       After having spent 8 months in Abidjan, I have come to realize that there are a very large number of similarities between India and Cote d’Ivoire and I am sure all those who have been to India and spent time there in ITEC courses must have realized this. I have no hesitation in saying that we are quite similar people in terms of values and culture in spite of distance of about 9000 km.


6.       The other day, Prime Minister said that according to Central Bank Report of 2012, India was the largest investor in Cote d’Ivoire.  While we continue to promote our economic relations with Cote d’Ivoire, we not only bring the investment but also the technology, skill development, a growth plan and above all the friendship and people to people relations.


7.       I seek continued blessings of the Head of State H.E. President Alassane Ouattara, H.E. Prime Minister Duncan and the entire Government and people of Cote d’Ivoire to take India-Cote d’Ivoire relations to the next level.


8.       I once again thank you all for joining us today on this important occasion.


Thank you


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