18-06-2012 : Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi
The three leading business Chambers of Commerce in the country, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) jointly presented a Compendium on Business Delegations titled, "Engaging the World", to the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi today.
The compendium is a reference guide for the work and achievements of the business delegations that accompanied Smt. Patil on her State Visits to 21 nations from 2008 to 2012. The business delegations accompanying the President of India on her State Visits enhanced the level of bilateral engagements on these visits by including the economic agenda. Issues of concern to Indian industries were raised. Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) were signed and in general trade and investment prospects of Indian industry were addressed.
In her remarks at the function, the President emphasized the need for industry and agriculture to engage together so that high economic growth levels can be achieved in the years ahead. The President said that the rural economy also has to grow and the fruits of development have to reach the last man and this would only be possible if industry and agriculture work hand in hand. The President said that it pains her when she hears that farmers are committing suicides. Like industrialists, they also are entrepreneurs, as they take risks when they sow their crops and are instrumental in feeding the nation.
In her remarks at the function, the President said that at the outset, beginning with her visit to Latin America in April, 2008 she was apprehensive about how the initiative would unfold. However, looking back, the President said that the exercise has been very satisfactory and she is happy with the efforts put in by the Chambers, the Ministry of External Affairs and officials of the President's Secretariat. By taking along business delegations, the President said that they got adequate attention and facilities for engagement from the political level and officials in the countries visited. In many cases, the Heads of State themselves evinced keen interest and personally met delegation members. The President also said whenever she met the host Head of State; she made it a point to emphasize the necessity for engagement and mutual benefits involved. Concluding her remarks, the President said that she has great faith in Indian industry, and in its ability to bring out the country from its current subdued economic growth rate.
Speaking on the occasion, the Secretary General of ASSOCHAM, Shri D.S. Rawat said the business delegations on these visits had a clear agenda and issues were discussed and implemented with the guidance of the President of India. The Director General of CII, Shri Chandrajit Banerjee said the inclusion of business delegations helped Indian industry to receive exposure and allowed access to persons in high positions. The Secretary General of FICCI, Dr. Rajiv Kumar said the inclusion of the business delegations in the President's State Visits is a sign of the times, as the world expects India to engage with it.
This release issued at 1400 hrs.