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Ambassador’s Speech at the Signing of the Joint Venture Agreement Between Visabeira Global and Vindhya Telelinks Limited on Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Posted on: June 03, 2015 | Back | Print

The Honourable 

President of the Municipality of Viseu, Dr. Almeida Henriques, Engineer João Castro, Chairman, Visabeira Global, 

Mr. Y.S.Lodha, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Vindhya Telelinks, 
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, On behalf of the Embassy of India, I extend a very warm welcome to you at today’s signing of the Joint Venture Agreement between Visabeira Global and Vindhya Telelinks, a company of the M.P.Birla group. Tonight we are witnessing a major initiative in stepping up business ties between Portugal and India to the next level.  For one year we at the embassy have been involved in the promotion of this agreement.  I am therefore very happy that it has come to fruition tonight. Kindly accept my warmest congratulations.

I believe we could not have timed the ceremony better. Recovery in the U. S. and Europe and low oil prices augur well for the world economy. In this setting Portugal has worked hard to achieve positive growth and is looking for new partners. India is poised to become the fastest growing major economy in the world. We have a young population, cutting edge technology, smart entrepreneurs and a low base from where we can move up. India needs foreign partnerships for sustained growth. This partnership thus assumes importance in this context.

Allow me to also put things in the political context. In 2014, after a long length of time, one party had the majority of seats to form a government all by itself without coalition partners. This set the platform for a new cycle of reforms and renewal of investor confidence. We have both. After sluggish growth in the last few years India grew at 7.2 per cent in the year ending on March the 31st, 2015. 

India has good macro- economic indicators. On March 24 the Asian Development Bank set growth in 2015- 2016 at 7.8 per cent, and at 8.2 per cent for 2016- 2017. Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, has called India a “bright spot” in the global economy, as also the global rating agency Standard and Poor. According to the International Monetary Fund, compared to 2009, the Indian economy will have doubled in size by 2019. After adjusting differences in purchase prices between economies, by 2019 India’s GDP will exceed the combined GDP of Japan and Germany. These are illustrations of how the resetting of Indian politics has had a positive economic impact.

For most of human history India had 25 per cent of the world’s GDP. India is now finding her historical voice. The sheer size of the Indian market should be attraction enough for Portuguese entrepreneurs. Thus I remain confident that your partnership will grow from strength to strength in the coming years. I invite the Visabeira Group to look at India in the long-term perspective, as an exciting place to do business in. Please come and “Make in India.”

To celebrate this very happy evening, I have great pleasure in presenting to Engineer Castro and Mr. Lodha two books on our beautiful India.
Muito Obrigado