Remarks by Mr. Rahul Chhabra, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Valedictory Session of the 2nd Sino-Indian Global Reciprocal Advanced Management Program
at the Ocean University of China, Qingdao
21 February 2012
Prof. Li Huajun,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Ø It gives me great pleasure to join you here at the Valedictory session of the 2nd Sino-Indian Global Reciprocal Advanced Management Program for senior managers and policy makers.
Ø I have a special bond with the Indian Institute of Management. I am myself alumni of Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, which is one of the leading Institutes of Management in the world. I graduated in 1985. Some of my batch mates decided to chose corporate sector. I decided to join the government.
Ø I want to thank the co-organizers of the event, Indian Institute of Management, Shillong and Ocean University of China, Qingdao for their efforts in organizing this event.
Ø As was mentioned earlier, participants of this batch came as strangers here and are now going back as friends. You have done what we do here as an Embassy. Groups come and go and friendship deepens. We have a lot to learn from China and China also has a lot to learn from us. We have a history of thousands of years-old exchanges, which tends to be forgotten in the recent years. In that context, people-to-people exchanges between the two countries will go a long way.
Ø Our External Affairs Minister Mr. Krishna was here ten days ago. During the visit, he held meeting with Chinese leadership including the Foreign Minister Mr. Yang Jiechi. He inaugurated our new Embassy building. Our old building did not convey the sense of new vibrant India-China relations. Our new building is much more advanced and well-equipped and conveys the new dynamism of India-China relations. As a part of the event, the year 2012 was designated as “Year of Friendship and Cooperation”. In the beginning of the year, it has put the relationship in context.
Ø On the trade front, China is the largest trading partner of India. It overtook the US as the largest trading partner of India a few years ago. Our bilateral trade volume has reached 74 billion USD in 2011 and we are on our way to reach the trade target of 100 billion USD set by our leadership by 2015. Investment is going on from both sides. We can learn from China in the field of infrastructure.
Ø In the “Year of Friendship and Cooperation”, a group of 500 Chinese youth are visiting New Delhi next week. In New Delhi, Indian President will meet them. 500-strong Indian youth delegation had visited China last year, and Premier Wen Jiabao met them in Beijing. This exchange is an ongoing process.
Ø Exchanges between our top leaders are also going on. They meet very frequently during the bilateral visits and also on the sidelines of international meetings such as BRICS summit, Nuclear Security summit. Premier Wen Jiabao visited India in December 2010. Our Prime Minister Dr. Singh met President Hu Jintao in Sanya in April last year during the BRICS Summit. PM also had a bilateral meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Bali in November 2011. We are going to host BRICS summit in March in which President Hu is expected to participate.
Ø I am very glad that participants of this programme could come to China, which is another step in building bonds between the two people. The Embassy of India in Beijing and our three Consulates in Shanghai, Guangdong and Hong Kong are trying our best to further promote cooperation between the two countries and people, and visit of groups like this would facilitate the building of bond between the two people.
Ø After coming to Qingdao, I have visited Laoshan Mountain, which is an extremely beautiful natural landscape. I also visit Tsingdao Brewery, and an electric meter factory here. I have also visited the new campus of the Ocean University of China, including the library. I have left the best for the last; this old campus. Everyone here would agree that it is a beautiful campus.
Ø I would like to congratulate all of you for taking part in this programme. I am sure this endeavor will continue in future. I would conclude by congratulating the organizers of this event and hope that many more such groups will visit in future.
Ø Thank you.