SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA, SMT. PRATIBHA DEVISINGH PATIL AT THE BANQUET IN HONOUR OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHILE, H.E. DR. MICHELLE BACHELET
New Delhi, 17th March 2009
Your Excellency, President Michelle Bachelet,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a matter of personal satisfaction for me to receive you and your delegation today on your State Visit to India. I have very happy, warm and vivid recollections of my very fruitful visit to your beautiful country in April 2008.
Your visit coincides with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between our two countries - an anniversary, which we celebrated yesterday at a joint India-Chile Concert. We celebrated the democratic ethos, freedom and tolerance that govern the polity of our two societies.
I am happy that since my visit to your country there has been forward movement in our bilateral relations. During your visit Excellency, we have agreed to further strengthen and diversify our partnership. We have decided to double our trade in the next five years and to establish institutional mechanisms to further facilitate trade and investment exchanges between our two countries. We will collaborate further in education and renewable energy. We intend to strengthen our collaboration in new areas of cooperation, such as agriculture, defence, mining, space applications and cooperation in the Antarctica.
India and Chile have a tradition of cooperation in the United Nations. This is no accident. Not only do we share a democratic constitutional framework, our world views are also very similar. Our commitment to the principles and purposes of the UN Charter and to multilateralism, define our approaches. We seek reform of the international architecture, so as to make it reflective of contemporary realities, not just political but, also economic and social. Our collaboration on issues pertaining to UN reform, Climate Change, the Doha Development Round of the WTO and our responses to the international financial and economic crisis are well matched.
We, in India, are thankful for Chile's firm support for India's permanent membership on an expanded United Nations Security Council.
We greatly appreciate the unambiguous and categorical condemnation by Chile of the horrendous terrorist attacks in Mumbai on 26th November 2008. We seek to strengthen our cooperation with Chile and other responsible members of the international community in the fight against international terrorism which is amongst the most potent contemporary threats to international peace and security and most importantly, to democratic societies.
Chile is one of India's principal partners in Latin America. We follow with great interest Chilean efforts to reform and yet, at the same time, ensure inclusive economic growth. Not only do we intend to strengthen and develop our natural partnership with Chile, we are also happy to learn from you how we can further strengthen our relationship with the whole of Latin America.
May I now request Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen to join me in a toast to:-
- the good health and well being of Her Excellency, President Michelle Bachelet,
- the ever growing friendship between India and Chile, and
- the further strengthening and deepening of our natural partnership.