Speaking at this event, Gen. (Dr.) V. K. Singh (Retd.), Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India said, “I sincerely feel trade and economy are the lifeblood of a nation, without which a nation’s health will suffer. When a building is constructed, it is not just bricks, mortar, cement and steel; but the vision behind it. World Trade Center New York epitomizes the vision of trade which suffered after 9/11 terrorist attack. The attack unleashed events that shaped the world today. Today’s most potent threat is terrorism. Terrorism has no colour, caste and religion. On this World Trade Centers Association Day, we must take stock of this threat and take a pledge that we shall not permit similar things to happen to our nation, property and people.”
Speaking further about the menace of terrorism, Gen. (Dr.) Singh (Retd.) said, “In the last four years of the present government, there has been no untoward incident as in the past. This is due to solidarity and economic upliftment of the people. India has been most concerned and affected by terrorism. India has tabled a draft comprehensive convention, on fighting terrorism at the United Nations. I hope all nations will support to pass this convention and join the war against terrorism.”
The minister also emphasized on promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific zone as 90% of India’s trade passes through sea. “We are professing the blue economy for the benefit of all. We are thinking this century will be the Asian Century. If the vision of Sir. M. Visveswaraya and MVIRDC WTC Mumbai has to be promulgated, peace and stability need to prevail, which will spur economic growth, take the nation to a different sphere of development and reap the benefit of intermingling, interlocking and networking of economies,” he remarked.
Sharing his views on globalization, the minister said, “Globalisation has been the buzzword. But today, people are talking about the ills of globalization and the benefits of trade barriers and protectionism. However, if trade, commerce and economic integration have to survive, protectionism has to go. Today, as call for protectionism gathers momentum from nations that are powerful, we must seriously consider how we can whittle this down to turn globalization to our benefit. We need to eliminate this economic terrorism.”
Expressing concern over the threat of climate change, Gen. (Dr.) Singh (Retd.) pointed out to Government of India’s pioneering initiative of launching International Solar Alliance at Paris, which was ratified by large number of countries. As part of this initiative, India’s Prime Minister has laid down the objective of adding 175 gigawatt of solar power capacity by 2022. This initiative has created huge business opportunity for solar energy industry and the tariff of solar and wind energy have fallen considerably. The industry should reap benefit from this initiative.”
The minister also pointed out to another path-breaking scheme called Ayushman Bharat, the world’s largest healthcare scheme, that will be implemented shortly. The scheme will provide healthcare cover upto Rs 5 lakh to 50 crore individuals or 10 crore families. With this scheme, the healthcare industry will get similar boost as the solar industry.
Gen. (Dr.) Singh (Retd.) concluded his remarks by highlighting the strength and potential of Indian economy. “Indian economy is growing at an unparalleled pace. Its contribution to global GDP growth has been about 22 per cent in the past four years. It points toward sound economics and the priority of development over destruction. However, 7.7 per cent growth rate is not enough. We need efforts from all of us. Let’s put our shoulders to remove the defects that we see and suggest measures for improvement. Only then will this World Trade Centers Association Day be truly meaningful for all of us.”
Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Jayakumar Rawal, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Employment Guarantee Scheme, Government of Maharashtra, “Tourism is a soft diplomacy and Government of Maharashtra is promoting this sector with several breakthrough initiatives. Maharashtra is the first state in India to promote experimental tourism. The state has signed memorandum of understanding with the world’s leading hospitality service provider Airbnb to promote tourism. After 70 years, Gharapuri island (famously known as Elephanta island) has been electrified recently to provide fillip to tourism and economic development. Maharashtra is known for rich cultural legacy, magnificent coastline, heterogeneous wildlife, enchanting pilgrim centres and emerging medical tourism.”
Speaking further about the attractiveness of Maharashtra, Mr. Rawal said, “Government of Maharashtra is holding discussions with Canada and USA to set up hubs for artificial intelligence.”
Lauding the efforts of World Trade Centre Mumbai in organising World Trade Centers Association Celebration, Mr. Rawal said, “World Trade Centre Mumbai is celebrating the spirit of community and solidarity among World Trade Centers across the world. World Trade Centre Mumbai connects local businesses globally. The organization encourages research on trade and economy. Maharashtra aims to become a USD 1 trillion economy by 2025. I am sure World Trade Centre Mumbai will play a major role in attaining this ambition.”
Mr. Kamal Morarka, Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai (left) felicitating Gen. (Dr.) V. K. Singh (Retd.), Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India (center). Also present is Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai during the 17th World Trade Centers Association Day celebration at the World Trade Centre Mumbai on June 12, 2018.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Kamal Morarka, Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai remarked, “World Trade Centers Association Day is being celebrated since 2002 to promote peace and solidarity following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center New York. The world is shrinking, communication has reached unimaginable heights and extensive micromanagement has prevented similar incidents thereafter.”
Speaking about the role of World Trade Centre Mumbai, Mr. Morarka said, “World Trade Centre Mumbai is among the top 20 World Trade Centers across the world in promoting international trade. Last year, World Trade Centre Mumbai received more than 60 foreign delegations. World Trade Centers across the world promote goodwill through international trade.”
Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai & Director, World Trade Centers Association, New York proposed vote of thanks for the event.
On this occasion, Gen. (Dr.) Singh (Retd.) also gave farewell felicitation to Dr. Norbert Révai-Bere, Dean, Consular Corps in Mumbai and Consul General of Hungary in Mumbai as he is going to leave India soon.
The event was also attended by representatives from industry, consular corps, academic and research institutions, government departments and non government organizations.
From (L-R): Captain Somesh Batra, Vice Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai; Mr. Sharad Upasani, Vice Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai; Mr. Kamal Morarka, Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai; Gen. (Dr.) V. K. Singh (Retd.), Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India; Mr. Jayakumar Rawal, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Employment Guarantee Scheme, Government of Maharashtra; Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai and Mr. Y. R. Warerkar, Executive Director, MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai during the 17th World Trade Centers Association Day celebration at the World Trade Centre Mumbai on June 12, 2018.