President lauds Indians' contribution to Vietnam

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Hu Chi Minh City, South Vietnam, Nov 25 (UNI) President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today called upon the Indian community living in Vietnam to avail enormous opportunities that the new India was providing to the NRIs from all corners of the world.

Speaking at the reception organised in her honour by Ambassador of India in Vietnam L T Muana tonight, the President said, ''Our mission to the Moon -- Chandrayaan, is a symbol of our acknowledged strength in science and space technology. There are enormous opportunities that the new India provides to you, from Vietnam and indeed to all in many corners of the world. I invite you to take advantage of such opportunities.'' She assured the Indian community that ''India cares for you'' and they must always feel secure about it.

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs had been specifically set up to cater to various requirements and concerns of Indian expatriats living abroad, she added.

Lauding the achievements of the Indian community in south-east Asia, specially Vietnam, Ms Patil said their contribution to Vietnam was ''admirable''.

''I am happy that the Indian community is working and living in an atmosphere of cordiality and camaraderie as the Vietnamese people have always welcomed Indian visitors,'' the President observed.

She said she had learnt that Indian companies doing business in Vietnam were also contributing in promoting Vietnam's exports to India.

The Indian-ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement, when signed, would provide impetus to the faster growth in trade and help in alleviating various constraints faced by exporters from both countries.

While assuring that India would fulfil its commitments, the President said the Agreement would also address the issue of trade deficit of Vietnam. Besides, India would be happy to promote Vietnam's exports to India.

Recalling ancient ties and cultural linkages between India and Vietnam, Ms Patil hoped that the Indian Cultural Centre to be set up in Hanoi would be a bridge between the people of India and Vietnam.

UNI KAS SKB KP1943

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