Visits Visits

Press Statement by Vice President during his visit to Latvia (August 20, 2019)

August 20, 2019

Thank you very much Excellency, President Levits for your gracious welcome and hospitality. This is our first ever high level visit of India to Latvia. I am happy about it.

India – Latvia relations have always been warm, cordial, based on shared values and their commitment to democracy.

My visit has given an opportunity to add further momentum to our special ties.

As the world’s largest democracy India has been impressed by the emergence of the Republic of Latvia as the fastest member of the Eurozone.

Today, I had wide ranging talks with the President Levits. We both committed ourselves to take our relations to a higher level with special focus on culture, education and economic partnership.

I also held discussions with the Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins on ways to enhance bilateral relations and to boost trade and investment cooperation.

We agreed that there are immense opportunities to enhance trade, business and investment ties in sectors such as pharma, automotive, textiles, petro-products, food processing and agriculture, dairy, transport & logistics, ICT, education and startups.

India’s transformative growth and Latvia’s natural strength complement each other.

I also look forward for a meaningful interaction at the first ever India-Latvia Business Forum. ASSOCHAM is leading and we have the delegation here and will be meeting them.

I am sure the interaction between the business and industry will find new avenues for bilateral investments.

To further boost economic partnership a cooperation agreement has been signed between ASSOCHAM and India-Latvia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

People to people relations are an important pillar of India’s Latvia engagement. President Levits and I appreciate the widespread interest of Latvian people for Ayurveda, Yoga, Indian culture, Indian cinema and Indian cuisine.

Similarly, there is a growing interest of Latvian culture and Latvian cinema in India. To explore more avenues for cultural exchange and to bring people of two countries closer we have also signed a cultural exchange program today.

Today, we have exchanged views on development taking place in our respective regions.

I must be frank, I appreciate the understanding of the Latvian government, more particularly the President of Latvia about the developments and political, socio-economic side and also India having successful, peaceful conduction of elections and formation of a stable government providing an able leadership.

I am very happy of their appreciation and also I am happy of the appreciation the President is having about our culture, our heritage, our value systems of India and we have personally exchanged our views on a variety of other developments that are taking place. We are a peace loving country.

I conveyed to the President we want to have peace coexistence with one and all. We don’t interfere in anybody’s internal affairs at the same time we don’t want anybody else to interfere in our internal affairs of our country.

We are committed to principles of democracy, parliamentary system and he being a person with a legal background, being an eminent luminary of the legal system he was able to appreciate the viewpoint of India on variety of issues.

I am also happy and conveyed to him about the support that is being extended by Latvia to the cause of India for a permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council.

We are one sixth of the world population. Any international body not having India then there is no meaning of democracy or a system, so there is every need to democratize the United Nations Security Council. We exchanged our views and I am happy they are in agreement with our view.

I have also sought President Levits’ support in combating the Climate Change challenge through International Solar Alliance.

And I also highlighted the dangers posed by terrorism saying that terror is an enemy of humanity, it has no religion, it has no regional connotation also, it is spreading across and we must all come together to curb terror of any kind for universal peace and progress.

I have also conveyed my thanks to the Hon’ble President for permitting us to have bust of Mahatma Gandhi unveiled here at the National Library. And I must also tell and confess today that our visit to the National Museum of History is very-very inspiring.

Telling story of the struggle that the Latvian people had to undergo all these years, the way they fought for their freedom and also they fought for regaining their freedom again that has clearly been shown in a wonderful manner.

I and my delegation were very much impressed by the presentation in that Museum.

In the end, I once again thank the President Levits and I am confident that with my visit, it will open a new chapter in our bilateral relationship.

Thank you very much.

August 20, 2019


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