Your Excellency H.E Mr. Ha Kim Ngoc, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam
Ambassadors and colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps,
Dear Vietnamese Friends of India,
My fellow countrymen living in Vietnam,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening and Namaste!
My colleagues and I are deeply honoured that you could join us today to celebrate the 68th Anniversary of India’s Independence. On 15th August 1947, we won political freedom witnessing the birth of modern India. Our pride, self-esteem and self-respect, born from a civilizational wisdom, has been distilled into the principles of our Constitution, which guarantees democracy, freedom, equality and equal opportunities to a complex country of 1.3 billion people, 122 languages, 1600 dialects and 7 religions. Our strength lies in our unique capacity to blend apparent contradictions into positive affirmation.
In the last one year our economy has recovered to a growth of 7.3%. Our Government is now focused upon inclusive governance, targeting the poorest sections of the society. A new wave of vigour and optimism has swept across the country, including in our foreign policy, as we reach out to our friends, our neighbours and our strategic partners, to ensure peace, stability and prosperity not just for India but to the wider region and the world.
Our relations with Vietnam are at an all-time high, encompassing all areas of cooperation of our strategic partnership from political, defence and security, economic, commercial, scientific, technical and cultural fields. A series of high level visits have marked our relationship in the last one year, including state visits of President of India to Vietnam and Vietnamese Prime Minister H. E. Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to India. Our External Affairs Minister, who visited soon after the new Government in India was sworn in last year, is again expected to visit in October this year for our annual Joint Commission Meeting. An Indian Coast Guard’s ship visit this month, will be followed by goodwill visit by one Indian navy ship later this year. Business meetings, cultural contacts and a film festival next month, all speak for the strength and maturity of our mutually beneficial relationship, as we emerge as two of the fastest growing economies in this world.
I now invite His Excellency Mr. Ha Kim Ngoc, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam to kindly say a few words. Before that I would like to propose a toast:
to the good health and success of the leaders of both countries,
to the prosperity and happiness of the peoples of both countries and
to the good health and success of all those gathered here.