A book compiling select speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on foreign policy during 2014 and 2015 was released today by President Pranab Mukherjee, who said the speeches have done well to lay out India’s economic strategy and foreign policy with style and substance. The President, who has written foreword of the book, formally released it on the concluding day of the three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention here, the Centre’s outreach programme for overseas Indians.
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The Ministry of External Affairs compiled the select speeches of Modi which outline the strength of India’s bilateral relationships with individual countries such as the US, Russia, Australia, UK but also India’s broader approaches to a new and invigorated foreign policy.
From Prime Minister’s very first speech abroad, his addresses to the Parliament of Bhutan at Thimphu, to the UN General Assembly, at Nazarbayev University, Astana, the Digital India Event at San Francisco, and the address to the India-Africa Forum Summit, the speeches signify both the strength and durability of India’s foreign partnerships, the MEA said.
In his foreword, Mukherjee says, “The speeches are a window to the Government’s vision and strategy for India’s engagement with the world… they have done well to lay out India’s economic strategy and foreign policy- with style and substance.”
In his address at the event, Mukherjee said,”his (Modi’s) speeches tell the story of the emerging India, an India which is moving ahead, leaving behind the baggage of history and looking at the world with optimism.”
Stating that PBD engagement has been extremely substantive, outcome oriented, with wide ranging issues been discussed, Secretary- MEA (OIA and CPV) Dnyaneshwar Mulay said it was a different format altogether and people were extremely positive about the format.
He said “attendance was extremely good, the economic engagement has been one of the important aspects of this PBD….; economic engagements whether it is startups, innovation, human resource development all these aspects were discussed.”
To a question that out of 7,200 people who registered, only 2000 people had come from abroad, Singh said it was wrong to perceive it that way as many pravasis who had already come for holidaying attended the event along with their families.
On the commemorative for the event like the stamp that was released last year, Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said this year a select compilation of Prime Minister’s speeches on foreign policy issues in 2014-15 had been made, the forward for which has been written by President Pranab Mukherjee.
On investments that government expects after the PBD, Singh said the event itself was not to attract investment, but to facilitate and showcase opportunity for investment.
Endorsing Singh, Deshpande said PBD was to understand the grievances of pravasis and to know about the steps taken by the government, “not that on itself it garners investments, but it provides an opportunity to market state like ours.”
Responding to a question on lack of facility at the venue to convert foreign currency for PBD delegates who have come from abroad, Singh said he will look into it and ensure no inconvenience happens next time, if it has happened this year.
However, Mulay said ATMs were installed at the venue to facilitate delegates.