Speech by H.E. Mr. V. Mahalingam on the 67th Republic Day
Home ›  Speech by H.E. Mr. V. Mahalingam on the 67th Republic Day  ›  Speech by H.E. Mr. V. Mahalingam on the 67th Republic Day

Speech by H.E. Mr. V. Mahalingam on the 67th Republic Day of India

High Commission of India

Text of the speech of the High Commissioner of India, H.E. V. Mahalingam on the occasion of the 67th Republic Day Reception held at 1830 hrs on 26th January 2016 at Guyana Marriott Hotel, Georgetown


Excellency , The Acting President  and Prime Minister of Guyana  Mr Moses VeerasammyNagamootoo and Mrs SitaNagamootoo

Hon’ble Minister in the Presidency Mr Joseph Harmon

Hon’ble Cabinet Ministers, Junior Ministers and Members of Parliament

Hon’ble Chancellor of the Judiciary

My Colleagues Excellencies High Commissioners and Ambassdors, Heads and Representatives from International Organisations  and other Diplomats  from the Diplomatic core

Distinguished invitees from all walks of life, Ladies and Gentlemen,  Brothers and Sisters

Friends from the Media

And my own Country’s  beloved Citizens

Good Evening!  Namaskaar! Vanakkam!  AslmauAlaikkum!



It is my honour to welcome you all here on the occasion of celebration of 67th Republic Day of India. India celebrates its National Day twice in a year. While we celebrate 15th August which is our Independence Day, today is the day when India became Republic by adopting its Constitution.


Last General Elections were held in India in May 2014 and during that biggest democratic exercise on the earth, over 760 million voters used more than one million electronic voting machines to elect their 543 members of the Lower House of the Parliament and a new Government was voted to power. One of the key priorities of the new Government was to focus sharply on meeting India’s developmental priorities and overcoming various challenges to achieve high economic growth. The new Government’s approach envisages proactive and extensive use of innovation, technology and research to leapfrog some of the physical infrastructural constraints that presently India is facing.


The most important of all initiatives is the ambitious “Make in India” programme aimed at turning India into manufacturing as well as export hub. There are simultaneous efforts to connect manufacturing in India with global supply chains and target to develop product based and also service based industrial and governance platforms centered around another pioneering initiative called “Digital India” to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.


The other major programmes are massive plan to boost urbanisation with affordable power and housing for all by building 100 Smart Cities across India, rejuvenating the sacred Ganges river and developing cities along its banks and skilling 300 million youth by 2022.


These programmes and initiatives present real commercial and business opportunities for many countries and India is ready to partner with those countries, both in public and private sectors, for a win-win outcome.


Actually, India is already on the move. The Globally reputed firm – Ernest & Young - has declared India as the No.1 attractive investment destination in the world in 2015 and International Monetary Fund has declared India as No.1 amongst the world’s fastest growing economies and Financial Times of UK has ranked India as No.1 in the Greenfield Foreign Direct Investment destination in the first half of 2015.


On the cultural front, the new Government’s efforts on projection of India as a civilization that enriches global culture, has also been much stronger. The International Day of Yoga that was marked across the world, including in Guyana, perhaps the most visible symbol of this development and the High Commission of India would like to thank all our partners who have made the celebration of International Day of Yoga in Guyana a memorable event.


Guyana and India have commonalities in terms of colonial past, freedom struggle and both are multi-cultural societies with firm belief in “Unity in Diversity.” Guyana and India have continued to enjoy warm and friendly relations based on historical and cultural links, shared values of democracy and freedom and respect for each other on the basis of equality. This relationship has further strengthened in recent years with enhanced cooperation in various fields and meetings between leaders at the highest level.


In the past 18 months, there had been three such meetings. The latest being the meeting between the Hon’ble Indian Prime Minister Modi and the President of Guyana, Excellency Brigadier David Granger at New York. It has paved the way for another meeting with PM Modi inviting President of Guyana to visit India. We eagerly look forward to such visit becoming reality anytime sooner.


India is committed to partner Guyana in its developmental efforts whether it is in terms of infrastructure or capacity building. India is ready to offer its hand to Guyana in developing its health infrastructure, both in primary health care and specialty fields, road infrastructure, irrigation and drainage, marine transport, bio and renewable energy, Information Technology and upgradation of sugar industry.


The primary programme for capacity building is the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation which is popularly known by its acronym - ITEC which has proved useful in training Guyanese experts in fields like agriculture, horticulture, audit, parliamentary studies, communications, power generation, disaster management, etc. Under the ITEC programme, there were a few Indian experts in the past and at present one Indian expert is under deputation in the field of agriculture.


I am glad to state that this year 2015-16, we will be exceeding the target of 20 ITEC slots allotted for Guyana with the excellent cooperation received from the Government of Guyana and most likely the number will go beyond 25. In the past 5 years, more than 30 scholarships had been provided to the Guyanese students for pursuing higher studies and this year too we are in the process of selecting students for various scholarships under ICCR and Commonwealth Schemes.


The High Commission of India is striving to promote business and trade relations between Guyana and India. Present trade between the two countries which accounts for 35 million US Dollars is far below its  potential and efforts are continuing to enhance the trade in the fields of solar energy, forestry, mining and investments in the fields of agriculture, education, mining, tourism industry, etc.


To consolidate cultural links, the Indian Cultural Centre has been functioning in Guyana since 1972 and during the four decades, a large number of Guyanese have benefitted from its yoga, dance and music classes.


India’s relations with Latin American and Caribbean Region have also intensified in terms of political engagements as well as trade and commercial relations. Our trade with Latin American and Caribbean region has shown impressive growth in the recent past and today it stands at about 46 billion US Dollars. This is against the trade of only 2 billion US Dollars  in 2000.  India has preferential trade agreement with MERCOSUR and Chile and Indian investment is around 20 billion dollars US Dollars – principally in IT sector, automobile parts, mining and hydrocarbons. We still believe that the trade and investment between India and Latin American and Caribbean countries is not commensurate with the potential that exists.


This year India had Ministerial level interaction with three major regional groupings, namely CELAC, SICA and CARICOM. Particular care has been given to engaging smaller nations which may have been neglected in the past. The Summit of Pacific Island States underlines our new approach towards climate change and sustainable development. 


In conclusion, it may be stated that both India and Guyana are committed to promote universal peace, equitable economic development and peaceful solution to the problems facing the humanity. India has observed with increased interest, Guyana’s role in the global arena in the field of environmental issues and climate change.


This year being the 50th Anniversary of Guyana’s Independence, Government of India would like to wish  the Government and all  the citizens of Guyana and assures its contribution in some way towards its celebration.


Finally I would like place in record the Indian High Commission’s  sincere  gratitude to the Indian companies operating  in Guyana namely Vaitarna, Bluewave, Sun and Sand, TerraWorld, Ajeenkya DY Patil University , the Indian  Public Sector Organisations in Guyana  such as  Bank of Baroda(Guyana) Incorporated and the New India Assurance for their generous contribution to make this National Day celebration a real success.


Distinguished Guests, may I conclude by proposing a toast:


-  To the health and happiness of His Excellency, President of the
Cooperative Republic of Guyana;

-  To the peace, progress and prosperity of the people of Guyana;  and

-  To the abiding friendship and cooperation between India and Guyana.


Thank You





Address: High Commission of India, 307, Church & Peter Rose Streets,
Queenstown, Georgetown
Working hours:08:30 - 13:00 hours and 13:30 - 17:00 hours
(Monday to Friday)
Telephone Number: 592 226 3996/226 8965/226 3240
Fax Number: 592 225 7012
Copyright policy | Terms & Condition | Privacy Policy|
Hyperlinking Policy | Accessibility Option | Help

© High Commission of India, Guyana 2013. All Rights Reserved.
Powered by: Ardhas Technology India Private Limited.