Gandhinagar, Jan 8: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the world was looking at India with immense hope and optimism.
"The world is seeing India with immense hope and optimism. The rich and the poor nations are looking at India...," Modi said in his inaugural address at 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the world's largest annual gathering of people of Indian origin.
"...there are several opportunities waiting for you in India. Times have changed very quickly," Modi said, adding that it is the responsibility of the Indians abroad to use this opportunity for the betterment of humanity.
Earlier, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Sushma Swaraj said the Indian diaspora is respected in the countries they live in for their discipline, work culture and contribution to that country's economy.
She said the Modi government is determined to work closely with the diaspora and engage with them and said: "I promise it will be a rewarding partnership."
The chief guest, Guyanese President Donald Ramotar, and South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, shared the dias with Modi and Sushma Swaraj.More than 4,000 delegates have arrived for the 13th PBD, aimed at enhancing networking and reinforcing commercial linkages.
There are 25 million people of Indian origin residing outside India. The event is being held in Gandhinagar Jan 7-9 to mark the centenary of India's "sarva sreshtha pravasi Bharatiya", or foremost Indian diaspora member, Mahatma Gandhi's return to the country from South Africa.
(With inputs from agencies)