SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA, SMT. PRATIBHA DEVISINGH PATIL AT THE BANQUET IN HONOUR OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHILE, H.E. MS. MICHELLE BACHELET
Santiago, Chile, 22nd April 2008
President Michelle Bachelet,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As we prepare to leave for India tomorrow morning, we carry back fond memories of the wonderful moments shared with you all during the last three days. I would like to express my deep appreciation for the warm hospitality and the kind courtesies extended to my delegation. These have far exceeded the norms of diplomatic nicety.
The recognition given to me by Congress, the University of Chile and the City of Santiago are, indeed an honour for my country. I express my gratitude for the same.
During my stay in this dynamic, outward looking and progressive country, I have met distinguished Parliamentarians, members of the judiciary academics, students, political leaders and representatives of industry.
The tributes paid by them to India's great leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru and Smt. Indira Gandhi, are an honour for us in India. The philosophy of non-violence, peace and welfare of the entire humanity expounded by them finds deep resonance here. Based on this, I am confident that our two countries will strengthen their partnership to build a better world and an equitable global order. Following my interactions, I am also further assured that the prospects of deepening our cooperation are indeed very promising.
Our dialogue on bilateral, regional and international issues has been most fruitful. We share the perception that we should strengthen our interaction to include the entire spectrum of opportunities and challenges that encompass our relations.
During my visit, we have agreed to diversify our cooperation in civil aviation, science and technology, sports and research in the Antarctica. We must work towards early implementation of these and other existing agreements between us.
In recent years, both our economies have registered strong growth. We must use this momentum and build on our synergies. Our bilateral trade has grown well and our efforts must be to diversify it.
The investment partnership needs to be given special emphasis. Some Indian companies are actively looking at opportunities in Chile. We hope that in coming years, we will see more Chilean investment in India, especially in the infrastructure sector.
India and Chile are in the process of discovering each other's cultural heritage and traditions. It will be our effort to strengthen our cultural ties and encourage exchanges in education and tourism, as well as promote contacts between our youth.
Our cooperation on critical international issues will also continue to strengthen. We are determined to work together on issues such as UN reform, the fight against terrorism, on Climate Change and on the Doha Development Round.
Excellency, I am deeply touched by the affection and warmth with which my delegation and I have been received in this beautiful country. As two women Presidents, I believe we have established a close personal rapport and an empathy that is based on shared experiences, concerns and values.
I am deeply struck by your personal commitment to work for the betterment and empowerment of the people of Chile especially the under-privileged and the women. Your lovely and lively personality is impressive. I keenly look forward to receiving you in India next year on mutually convenient dates.
Muchas Gracias por todos su hospitalidad
(Thank you for your hospitality.)