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Speech of the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee

Speech of the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of inauguration of the India International Trade Fair 2016 (IITF 2016)

The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressing at the inauguration of the 36th India International Trade Fair (IITF-2016), at Pragati Maidan, in New Delhi on November 14, 2016. The Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Manohar Lal Khattar and other dignitaries are also.
The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressing at the inauguration of the 36th India International Trade Fair (IITF-2016), at Pragati Maidan, in New Delhi on November 14, 2016.
The Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Manohar Lal Khattar and other dignitaries are also.

I am indeed very happy to have this opportunity to be present at the Inaugural Ceremony of the 36th edition of the India International Trade Fair (IITF). This Fair commences every year on 14th November, the birth anniversary of the first Prime   Minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal  Nehru.

  1. The IITF   is a  mega  projection of  the new India  that is fast  taking   shape.  It  showcases  the  vision  of   a  glorious  tomorrow,  a spirit  of  excellence  and  achievement and  unparalleled  investment  opportunity  through the  prism  of the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ initiatives taken by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. The   fair  symbolises India’s   commitment  towards bringing  the  benefits  of  economic  reform to  its  people  from all walks of life, especially the   under-privileged.
  2. I am heartened to see the considerable presence of foreign companies at the fair. I would like to make a special mention of India’s continued endeavour of empowering and bringing together all constructive forces for a better world.  The recent BRICS and BIMSTEC summits have created a great reservoir of goodwill which is vital for consolidating our economic and cultural linkages and societal bonds with countries across the world.
  1. India has always believed in the stability and growth of our neighbouring countries. ‘Putting People First’ is the guiding philosophy of our development cooperation   partnership. Focused on an agenda aimed at regional harmony, peace and prosperity, we look forward to working together in priority areas such as infrastructure, development connectivity, capacity building, education, healthcare and the setting-up of development projects.
  1. India is working with like-minded countries in multilateral organisations including the United Nations to play an enhanced role in diverse fora – from the Arctic Council and the Pacific Alliance to the UN Security Council where India has made a legitimate claim for a permanent membership.
  1. Apart   from  economic   dimensions, I  believe  that  a  fair such  as IITF provides  an excellent  opportunity   to  introspect  on challenges,  integrate  minds  and prepare  strategies  for the mammoth   task  of  nation  building.   As India strives to become a manufacturing hub in diverse sectors, it needs to increase its energy resources without compromising on the environmental aspects.  Factors such as demography, development and urbanisation exert tremendous pressure on availability of resources. Large-scale utilisation of resources impacts adversely on the environment. Industry, therefore, needs to adopt eco-friendly measures and technologies. I am happy to note that the present Government is focusing greater attention on renewable energy sources.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  1. As   there  is   a  considerable  presence   of  foreign   countries  along with     Indian States and UTs in  the   fair,  I would like to share with you  that a range of  reforms being currently undertaken, including GST, shall enable the States and Union Territories to compete with  each other in attracting investment and business opportunities. Over the medium and long term, these reforms shall also hopefully result in job creation thus contributing to the growth impulses of the economy.
  2. It is a matter of great satisfaction that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has taken  an  excellent   initiative  towards  improving   the  ‘Ease  of  Doing  Business’ in India with added emphasis on simplification and rationalisation of existing rules procedures and processes.

Government’s recent initiatives on  E-Governance  have begun to show results in terms of more efficient and effective delivery of public services.

  1. I recall having been associated with ITPO and IITF while  serving  the  government  in  different   capacities. I am pleased to see it   grow into a larger and more inclusive platform now. I take this opportunity to welcome the global business  community who have converged here to  further trade and business relations.
  2. It is encouraging to note that the IITF this year is seeing the presence of 7000 participants, including representation from 24 foreign countries, almost all   States/Union Territories,  apex  public   sector  enterprises and the MSME and CAPART  pavilions with  around 800 rural  artisans  and  crafts persons. I am told that the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation is also participating along with 100 artisans in this fair this year. I compliment them.
  3. I compliment ITPO for the theme of ‘Digital India’, this year. Digital technologies, e-commerce,  e-enabled and mobile services are major  components  of e-governance and will, over time, contribute significantly to GDP growth. We, at the same time, also need to make use of our abundant renewable sources to create a society that is self-sustaining and mindful of its responsibilities towards the present and future generations.
  4. I  believe  that  IITF will  reinforce  Indian   brands –  brands  that will,  in  the  first  instance, compete  and  win  against  the  dominant  international  players  in the domestic market before  venturing  overseas.
  5. I especially welcome our foreign friends, exhibitors, delegates and members of the diplomatic corps to this event which is considered a microcosm of India- a land of vibrancy, culture, spirituality and peace.
  6. I extend my good wishes to all participants from India and overseas especially, the ‘Partner Country’ – the ‘Republic of South Korea’ – and the Focus Country, ‘Belarus’.  The ‘Partner States’ for the IITF this year are Madhya Pradesh & Jharkhand while Haryana is the ‘Focus State’ – I hope all three of them will make full use of the opportunities that this fair presents.
  1. I am happy to know that ITPO has taken special measures this year to improve facilities offered to visitors such as online sale of tickets, online booking of space, providing Wi-Fi facilities, introducing a separate award category for the best State pavilion dedicated to ‘Swachh Bharat’ initiatives within State pavilions and  providing details  of  the  fair  on  mobile applications for  convenience  of  the  visitors. ‘Team ITPO’, as  well  as  all  associated service  agencies, deserve to be complimented for the excellent arrangements, logistics and facilities  that are now going to be provided to users.
  2. I am confident that the 36th edition of this fair will promote business convergence and cohesiveness amongst the investors, manufacturers and retailers. It will also hopefully create a better understanding and awareness of ‘Digital   India’, ‘Make in India’ and the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaigns. With these few words, I declare the India International Trade Fair 2016 open and wish all of you the very best and success in your endeavours.

Thank you.

Jai Hind!!

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