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Speech for the 69th Republic Day of India celebration -29th January 2018

Guest of HonourAmbasador Jonathan Wutawanashe, Acting  Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

His worship Mayor of Harare

Excellencies

Members of Parliament,

Elders of the Indian Community

Distinguished Guest

Ladies and gentlemen

I would like to welcome you all to the 68th Republic Day celebration of India. For every Indian,Republic day is a very significant occasion in the independent history of the country, because on 26th January, 68 years ago India adopted a visionary constitution and became the largest democracy in the world. Nearly seven decades later today, India not only continues to be a thriving democratic country but also the fastest growing major economy in the world. In the last election in 2014 825 million were registered with Election Commission of India.

With 1.3 billion populations today, about 1 billion people will go to vote in 2019 elections. India has 1841 registered political parties, 82,900 registered newspapers, 882 TV channels, 1600 languages. The figures go on and on. The unfaltering democracy in India has shown to the world that humanity can be governed with freedom, that it is possible to achieve inclusive economic growth without sacrificing democracy and diversity, without compromising the values of pluralism and tolerance.

And today, we celebrate the constitution that accommodates these values. Inclusiveness entails huge responsibility for us but over all these years, this has emerged as our strength and not weakness. This is a celebration of unity in diversity. And I am talking of oneness and not sameness. 

I find it relevant to mention all these because India’s relationship with Zimbabwe is interspersed with these values. Relation between India and Zimbabwe goes beyond numbers-the number of exchanges of high level visits, number of agreements signed, number of trade figure in terms of Dollars.  In fact, the relationship between the two countries is much deeper, profound and sublime which can never be measured in the above terms. We are rather bound by the elements of invisibles which include our shared history, people to people relations, culture, music, dances etc.

In this highly transactional world where relations are conducted on the basis of who gets what and how much and at whose expense, India’s relationship with Zimbabwe shows that it is possible to have a relationship based on emotionof mutual respect and mutual benefits. Our shared history of more than 500 years has laid the foundation of our shared and promised future.

The future is of enhanced cooperation in the areas of Trade, Business, science and Technology including space technology, industry, films, sports, culture, tourism and the list goes on.

In this context, I wish to convey that India’s business relation will be aligned with the new vision statement set out by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe His Excellency ED Mnangagwa in his inaugural speech, his State of the NationAddress and the provisions in the budget presentation.  This finds resonance with what India is also undertaking under the leadership of my Prime Minister under various slogans including Team India, Make in India, stand up India, Start up India and Skill India. The mantra my Prime Minister is to Reform, Perform and Transform.There is convergence of business interest in Make in India and Buy Zimbabwe. The two countries have a huge young population who are creative and innovative and ready to take this Mission and Vision forward.

We are excited to be a part of the process where Zimbabwe is set to forging deeper bilateral and economic cooperation with friendly nations across the world and re-engaging with those countries which had some reservation earlier.

Numerous Development cooperation projects and capacity building programmes that exist between India and Zimbabwe continues to strengthen both the visible and invisible aspects of our relations. This relation does not confine itself to Government to Government. An exemplary cooperation at the institutional level exists. HIT has MOUs with twelve technical institutions in India. In the last 4/5 years more than 300 M Tech Graduates have returned to the institution.

Let me conclude by conveying great appreciation of the Government of India and the people of India to the government of Zimbabwe and its people for its unstinting support for our membership in various UN and International fora. Prominent among them include the most recent membership of ICJ.

I would also like to thank Ministry of Foreign Affairs for unwavering to all the efforts made by this Mission to strengthening the relationship between the two countries.

I would like to thank my colleagues in the embassy for being solidly behind me in forging

 
 
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