IVAN LANCARIC, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to India along with Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of Czech Republic to India expressed confidence in the special relationship which the two countries share with India. The Ambassadors of the Czech and Slovak Republics were in Chandigarh to inaugurate an international youth festival last week.
Elaborating on the festival, Ambassador Hovorka said, “Initiatives like this festival are an excellent platform to enhance the people to people contact between India and the Czech and Slovak Republics. Slovak Republic has a large presence of artisans and such platforms give the countries a scope to deepen existing ties”. Ambassador Lancaric said, “Two folk dancing groups from Slovakia performed at the festival. This strengthens ties and gives a platform for cultural exchange. There were youth from over thirty countries, which is an opportunity for them to interact and understand the world better. Such exercises will help in making the next generation capable of solving global challenges together.”
Elaborating on their visit to Punjab, Ambassador Hovorka said,”We are very pleased to be in Punjab. On the sidelines of the festival, we have been able to get the opportunity to meet the Chief Minister of the state”. On being asked about the issue of agricultural exports from Punjab, Ambassador Hovorka replied, “The Republics of Czech and Slovak are industrialised countries. Agriculture, though important, does not play a major role in our economies. Punjab is known as the breadbasket of India and it has a major share of agriculture in its economy. We are optimistic of opening agriculture imports from foreign countries provided the produce conforms to the sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Earlier Indian agriculture was fertiliser dominated but the Indian government has started a brilliant trend of organic agrarian produce. Apart from agriculture, we are also encouraging businesses to look for opportunities in our countries. We invite local business houses to visit us.” Elaborating further on trade opportunities Ambassador Lancaric said, “In today’s world, agriculture is just a part of the broader trade basket. Trade is a two way act involving imports as well as exports. India has a lot to offer us just as we have a lot to be offered. Slovakia has a substantial Indian investments like Jaguar Land Rover Plants. We look forward to deepening our relationship with India.”
The Czech and Slovak Republics have a very developed infrastructure of nuclear plants which are exporting electricity within Europe. Ambassador Hovorka said that “We are looking forward to encouraging an increased use of civil nuclear power in India. It is an avenue for collaboration”. Elaborating further on the strength of relations between India and the two republics, Hovorka said that “we have very strong ties with India. We have shown this by supporting India’s Permanent membership within the UN Security Council.” When asked about the reason for such a stance, Ambassador Lancaric said, “India is a global player. Today’s world is 75 years ahead of the Second World War and so the UN Security Council needs to adjust to the new needs of the global world. With this reality in consideration, we have an official stance to support India’s entry into the Permanent members of the UNSC”.