India Foundation in association with the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library hosted a Civic Reception in honour of the Prime Minister of Nepal, Shri K.P.Sharma Oli on 7 April 2018, at Hotel ITC Maurya, New Delhi. Present at the civic reception were Shri Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Government of India and Director, India Foundation; Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister of Law and Justice and Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, Gen. (Dr) V.K.Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India and a host of prominent citizens representing civil society to include political leaders, officers from the defence and police forces, bureaucrats, diplomats, journalists, scholars, academics and others. The Prime Minister of Nepal was accompanied by his wife, Smt Radhika Shakya Oliand by Shri Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal.
Delivering the Welcome Address of the evening, Shri Suresh Prabhu termed the India – Nepal relationship as one that is ‘unique and incomparable’. He stressed on building a new trade relationship with Nepal, which will in turn drive the economy of both the countries. He spoke about his aim of being able to create more job opportunities in Nepal by means of Indian investments, skill development and setting up food processing industries. He also laid emphasis on the need of having a Nepal-India joint tourism circuit, to enable the tourists visiting South Asia to not miss out on visiting Nepal. He concluded by thanking the Prime Minister of Nepal and expressed optimism on having a continued warm and friendly relationship between the two countries.
In his address, the Union Law Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad spoke of the cultural and historical linkages between the two neighbours which makes them natural allies rather than just the fact of being geographic neighbours. The minister also highlighted the success of India’s transformational program of digitally empowering the citizens of the country and assured the Prime Minister of Nepal that India would provide assistance to Nepal in following a similar path towards digital empowerment.
In his address to the gathering, Prime Minister Oli spoke of his vision of being able to structurally realise the constitutional spirit of “Government at Doorstep” for the citizens of Nepal. He elaborated on his government’s mandate to work for the long-cherished socio-economic transformation of the country and highlighted his dream of a prosperous Nepal, where people will have decent living and youths will have decent jobs; where the infrastructure will be better and vast and untapped resources will be converted into economic benefits and wealth. He then called upon the countries of the neighbourhood to help the landlocked Himalayan country in realising this dream by sharing their experiences of development.
Speaking of the India-Nepal relationship, Prime Minister Oli called it a relationship blessed by the wisdom of saints and sages. He said that the India-Nepal relationship has grown multi-dimensional in the 21st century and that intermittent glitches will not hamper the age old ties that bind the two countries from the pre-historic times. He assured the people of India that Nepal would not allow any external power to use its soil against the sovereign interests of the Republic of India. Touching upon the bilateral trade relationship, he expressed hope on being able to cover the trade deficit that exists between Nepal and India and also spoke on the scope of cooperation on hydropower and tourism projects.
Moving from the immediate neighbourhood to an extended neighbourhood of Asia, Prime Minister Oli spoke of the Asian Renaissance and how the region has been home to the world’s oldest and most affluent civilisations. This region has given the world the best of artists and architects; physicists and meta-physicists; and the most sophisticated education system with the most enlightened writings of government and statecraft. Not only intellectually but also culturally and geographically the Asian region is one of the most diverse regions and is moving steadfast on the path of development despite the regional challenges. The Asian values of universal fraternity, peaceful co-existence, respect for diversity and sense of equality guide the way as these are the values that stand as fortress to ensure peace and security in the world and sustainability of its development.
He concluded by optimistically speaking of seizing the opportunity to boost the enablers of the bilateral relationship and explore new vistas of collaboration. He said that a peaceful, stable, prosperous and democratic Nepal is in the interest of India as well as that of the larger neighbourhood and expressed hope of being able to build upon the mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries in the 21st century.
Delivering the concluding remarks of the evening, Gen. (Dr) V.K.Singh expressed optimism on the age old relationship becoming even stronger and broader after the bilateral consultations between the Heads of Governments of the two countries.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Shri Shakti Sinha, Director, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.
Please Click Here to access the photographs of the evening.