Speech made by H.E.
Mr. Yashwant Sinha, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India at the
Inaugural Dinner of the 3rd India- EU Business Summit at Copenhagen
His Excellency Mr.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Denmark, Mr.Per Stig Moller
Mr. Johan Schroder,
Chairman of DI
Mr. Hans Skov
Chjristensen, Director General of DI
Mr. Phillipe De
Buck, Secretary General of Unice
His Excellency Mr.
H.K.Dua, Ambassador of India to Denmark
Ambassador of Denmark in India
ladies and gentlemen
I am very happy to be here in your midst this evening and what I liked most
was that the speeches came after the dinner. And now after dinner speeches
have various models sometimes it comes before the soup is served; sometimes
between the soup and the main course and sometimes between the main course
and dessert. But I like this particular model more than everybody is relaxed
and everybody has had their dinner and there is nothing to look forward to
really excepting some boring speeches.
And therefore my
first recommendation is that out of this summit there should emerge a code
of conduct for after dinner speeches.
I am quiet sure it will be universally accepted. But I am grateful to Mr.
Christensen who remembers my speech in Lisbon two years ago there are very
few who do that so thank you very much. I am glad that this beautiful city
of Copenhagen and I am very sure that the outcome will be equally beautiful.
Ladies and gentlemen the last 10 years have been momentous for EU and India.
In the last 10 years you in EU have changed from being a community to a
union and there is a world of a difference from what you are at the
beginning of the decade in the nineties and what you are at the beginning of
the decade of the 21st century. And this is not the end of the journey of
the EU and like every living organism you are moving forward and as Mr.
Schroder pointed out the larger enlarged EU with about half a million people
with the largest GDP in the world will be an extremely important and
interesting partner and therefore we are looking forward eagerly and with
high expectations to the further expansion of the European union.
These have as I said been also momentous days for India because we have
transited from a somewhat controlled economy to a market economy. We have
integrated with the rest of the world and today as has been pointed out here
by speaker after speaker that there is natural synergy between Europe and
India and this is the foundation on which we must build our future.
Globalisation the honourable minister referred to the benefits of
globalisation. Globalisation is inevitable and any country where ever and
how so ever placed can really fight globalisation or resist globalisation
and it is inevitability of globalisation that makes it a challenge that has
to be managed because we are witnessing today a globalised opposition to
economic institutions meet whether it is the IMF World Bank or the WTO, you
find on demonstration in the streets. Why are they doing it? I remember when
as Finance Minister and I was attending the meeting of the development
committee meeting of the world bank I even threatened the members inside the
room that if we are not able to find solutions to the globalisation problems
of the world especially of the developing countries then you will find me
with the protesters on the streets. And they responded by making me the
chairman of the development committee. But the challenge of globalisation is
the real challenge. The decade of the 90s has seen more eco crisis than ever
before and again it is a grim global economic scenario we face today. What
has happened in recent months has not brought glory to capitalism or market
economy. Socialism is behind us it collapsed and as an ideology it has not
worked. And if market economy does not sustain itself than where do we go
and what alternative system do we adopt and there is a need for all of us to
find solutions for the problems thrown up by globalization.
I will not go into the figure it has been pointed out that EU is a very
important trade partner of India, and is a very important investor of
capital into India and we have some very ambitious targets. We want the
current level of trade of Euro 25 billion should go up to 35 billion euro by
2005 and double it is 2008. Investment and technology must go hand in hand.
How shall we achieve this very ambitious targets set for ourselves? Not
fully by the traditional route. We have had trade exchanges for many
centuries and I am glad the Foreign Minister of Denmark is in the Asia
square. Because now the focus of the EU, the focus of Denmark will be Asia
and if it is Asia then India cannot be ignored. So we are looking to greater
and intense interaction between European Union and India. Traditional links
are very important and they should be sustained and we should transform this
relationship in to a 21st Century.
And if we want to transform it into a 21st century relationship then we have
to look at other new areas - the knowledge industries. We are strong in
knowledge industries whether it, be, pharma, chemical, wherever knowledge is
the basis we in India have a natural advantage and this advantage has been
built brick by brick, drop by drop and I would like to salute here our
forebears in India those who took command of social institutions in India
that has led to this rich human resource in India and this is what we need
to build our relationship of the 21st century. We are ancient nation with a
young population. We have the capacity to become the reservoir of highly
skilled human resource for the rest of the word . There was a time when we
were concerned about brain drain and today they are our assets. And we will
continue to supply to the world our knowledge workers wh! o will transform
your dreams into reality. And therefore when I am talking knowledge I am
talking in particular of research and development. India is today one of the
platforms for R&D in the world and more.
More than 30
multinational companies have R&D bases in India. We have the CSIR which has
40 national labs, defence research organisation has 50 labs, ICAR has 36
research institutions, the ICMR has 21 research centres. We have ITTs, ISC,
recs and a vast range of technical institutions in the country. That is how
highly skilled manpower has been built up.
Health care is a
very important area for synergy. There is tremendous scope for synergies.
You have an ageing population. Who is going to take care of them? We offer
our services we will look after them. Please tell your old people we will
take care of them. The Indian doctors run the UK health service, the
American health service. The largest numbers of people working in Microsoft
are from India, we have people in NASA. This is the great advantage on which
we want to build further.
There are issues
of the moment. Trade is a very important issue. We face problems in trade. I
was told for instance, in the EU our exports face all kinds of non-tariff
barriers, we have to be little large hearted about these things, lets not
get involved in these petty matters for the moment. You have a quota in
textile, is there a justification that within the quota we should be
subjected to anti-dumping trade protection measure. I can't find any
justification for this double standard. I was told that 3.5% of Indian
exports to the EU are subjected to these trade defence measures, while the
overall percentage you have is 0.5%, is India being targeted, is there
anything wrong that we have done a point to ponder.
We in India are looking for partnerships. Indian companies want to make
investments and indeed have made investments. We want to share technology. I
am not talking of a one-way street where we take your technology and capital
and then compete with you. We are looking for a 2-way street. Where we will
give you technology also, we will invest our capital, with our reserves as
US$ 63 billion, India today is in position to invest in the countries in the
north and Indian companies are interested in making investments in Europe.
They want to set up manufacturing facilities here, please welcome them just
as we welcome you and lets build up this partnership on the basis of
equality and mutual advantage, there is indeed a tremendous future, which
I am glad that
this 3rd business summit is taking place in the very liberal atmosphere of
Copenhagen. Denmark is one country, which has fulfilled its commitment of 1%
of its GNP as overseas development assistance, there are few countries,
which have done it, and I would like to salute Denmark for its achievements.
We need the rest of the world to adopt a similar liberal approach. We need
EU to become a real partner in progress of India and Europe and together.
I am quite sure India and EU can make this world a better place to live.