Abu Dhabi: The current economic growth in India gives renewed optimism to Indians on their country’s Independence Day, a top Indian diplomat said on Wednesday.
“India had a 6.5 per cent economic growth rate last year which is expected to improve further this year, whereas many major economies in the world, especially in Europe, have zero to 0.5 per cent growth rate,” M.K Lokesh, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, told Gulf News.
Some small countries may have a higher economic growth rate, but many large economies do not match India’s achievement in this regard, he said on the sidelines of the 66th Indian Independence Day celebrations at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
The economic progress of the UAE and its deepening ties with India also give Indian expatriates here a reason for celebration, Lokesh said. “UAE is increasing its investments in the UAE. A delegation from TAQA, the UAE’s global energy company, visited India early this week as part of enhancing business relations with India,” the ambassador said.
Scores of Indian expatriates attended the Independence Day celebrations organised across the country. At separate functions held at the embassy and the Indian Consulate in Dubai, the ambassador and the Consul General ceremonially hoisted the tricolour. They also read out excerpts from the Indian President’s address to the nation. Dance and musical performances by pupils of Indian schools in the capital added colour to the embassy function.
While addressing a gathering of about 500 Indian community members from all walks of life, Sanjay Verma, the Consul General, lauded the contributions of Indian expatriates to the progress of India and the UAE.
Talking about globalisation Verma said : “We today talk about globalisation but at its very essence, an Indian is a global citizen ….globalisation respects pluralism and pluralism is the essence of India with its diversity.”
About India’s growth, he said during its initial years after independence, growth was relatively slow as the country was growing as a society but the best part of India lies ahead.
Verma said all Indian expatiates are the country’s envoys. “It is an honour for me, I’m blessed because the community shares such a good chemistry with the consulate. My job is easy because you make it easy. I felicitate many Indian associations for being agents of community welfare. Their duty towards the community is not just celebrating festivals but they rise to the occasion when circumstances demand. The best for India is yet to come.”
Renowned singer Shobhna Chandramohan and Ashok Bhardwaj, Consul (Passport), presented a medley of patriotic songs to mark the occasion.
Indian community organisations organised flag-hoisting ceremonies in Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. At the Indian Social and Cultural Centre, the largest Indian community organisation in Abu Dhabi, P.S. Jacob, acting president of the centre, hoisted the national flag.