Lilongwe (Malawi), Jan.9 (ANI): Interacting with members of the Indian community here on Friday evening, Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari urged them to utilise every opportunity and undertake every initiative to harness the potential for cooperation that exists in various areas.
Expressing delight to be in Malawi on the first ever high-level visit from India since Malawi's independence in 1964, Ansari said: "The Indian community has been living in this friendly country for about a century, and has contributed in significant measure to its development and to the evolution of the multicultural fabric of Malawian society."
"The cultural affinity and affection for India among you and other Overseas Indian communities has prompted the Government of India to establish the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs with a mission to intensify engagement with Overseas Indians and work for their welfare," he added.
He further said: "We have historical relations with Malawi based on shared values and common experience of our struggle against colonial rule. Both the countries are multi party democracies, multiculturaland multi religious societies with strong commitment to rule of law and respect for human rights. India is committed to provide all possible assistance to the Government of Malawi and to President H.E. Mr. Bingu wa Mutharika in his efforts to improve the economic situation of the people and bring about overall development of the country."
"The Government has introduced the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) scheme to facilitate your travel to and interaction with India. We would encourage you to take advantage of these initiatives and work for deepening economic partnership between India and Malawi. We must utilise every opportunity and undertake every initiative to harness the potential for cooperation that exists in the areas of agriculture, mining, power, science and technology, education, information technology and Small and Medium Enterprises," the vice-president added.
India, Ansari said, has announced a grant of USD one million as emergency relief for rehabilitation following the series of earthquakes that caused loss of life and property in Malawi. In addition, afurther USD four million has been issued in the form of a grant to support Malawi's development in agriculture, health and education sectors, he added.
He said that he was happy to inform that the Indian economy was back on track towards recovery, adding that economic reforms would continue. He said that he was confident about the country reclaiming economic growth rates that existed prior to the crisis. By Ashok Dixit (ANI)