The Vice President said that India, which represents one sixth of the global population, has a rightful claim to the permanent membership of the United Nation’s Security Council (UNSC) and thanked the Lithuanian Prime Minister for extending support to India in various multilateral fora.
On the third day of his tri-nation Baltic tour, the Vice President met with the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Mr. Saulius Skvernelis, the Speaker of the Seimas (Parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania, Mr. Viktoras Pranckietis and addressed the India-Lithuania business forum before emplaning for Riga, Latvia where he addressed the Indian community in the evening.
During his interaction with the Prime Minister Mr. Saulius Skvernelis, the Vice President stressed the need for enlarging and democratizing the UNSC. He sought Lithuania’s support for India’s claim for permanent membership of the Security Council.
Observing that terror has become a big global menace and is the enemy of mankind,Shri. Naidu called for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) by the UN, which was mooted by India in the UN in 1996.
The Vice President said that the cooperation between the parliamentarians of the two nations should be enhanced for promoting peace, prosperity and well being of the people of the two countries.
Stating that both the countries enjoyed close cultural ties, he appreciated Lithuanian Universities for promoting Indology studies and also expressed his happiness over the publication of Comparative Dictionary of 108 Common Lithuanian and Sanskrit words and ‘History of Lithuania’ in Hindi.
Earlier, addressing India-Lithuania Business Forum the Vice President urged Lithuanian businessmen to tap the immense opportunities in India, which has a rising middle class market comparable to the European Union.
HE said that India was the 6th largest economy in the world and evolving into a US $ 5 trillion economy by the year 2024-25. “To achieve this end, India requires approximately US $ 292 billion in new investments every year””, he added.
Referring to the huge demographic advantage offered by India with youth under 35 years comprising about 60% of its 1.3 billion population, he said that India has undertaken an ambitious plan to build next-generation infrastructure, including 100 Smart Cities, airports, high-speed trains, highways, and cyber connectivity.
Shri Naidu also referred to rapid growth in construction of national highways and the ambitious plans to develop more than a 100 rivers as national waterways and added: “These programs will vastly improve connectivity, and prove as catalysts for industrialization and to take our trade and investment to a new level”.
Shri Naidu also told them that India was also focusing on renewable sources to generate energy and planning to achieve 40 per cent of its energy from non-fossil sources by 2030 and increase its renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by 2022. Given Lithuania’s technological competence in solar storage cells, we could seek appropriate transfer of technologies from you, he added.
Praising Lithuania for achieving an enviable 14th rank in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of doing business”, Shri Naidu mentioned that IT & ITES, Pharmaceuticals and Agro-food Processing among the areas in which the two nations could collaborate. Since Lithuania has strengths in dairy and cheese production and such technologies would be appreciated in India’s mega food parks, he added.
Later, addressing the Indian community in Riga, the capital of, the Vice President said that Latvia and India enjoy friendly and cordial relations which have been growing steadily in diverse spheres since the establishment of our diplomatic relations in 1991. “India is committed to strengthening its relations with Latvia in all spheres, including business and investment, cultural and academic cooperation and people to people-to-people connect”, he added.
The Vice President said that India was proud of the contributions made by its 30 million-strong Diaspora all over the world. “You have been helpful in bringing foreign investments, technology, expertise and goodwill to India”, he added.
Outlining the rapid strides India is making in various sectors, he asked the diaspora to contribute to the growing aspirations of their motherland. He also commended the Indian community and students, for carving out a niche for themselves in Latvia. “A lot of credit behind your happy and successful stay in the country must also go to the warm-hearted and generous Latvians”, he added.
Observing that there was a new dynamism in our diaspora policy and outreach,Shri. Naidu said that our Embassies were available round the clock to our people in need. He invited the diaspora youth to connect with India through programs like ‘Know India’.
He said that Latvia and India can become important partners as the world economy progresses towards the 4th Industrial Revolution where IT, High-tech, Artificial Intelligence and innovations will play key roles. “I see a lot of scope for Indian and Latvian companies to engage in new-age technologies through partnership and collaboration”, he added.