Republic Day is celebrated in India on 26 January to commemorate the coming into force of the Indian Constitution. This is the day on which modern India was born, when in 1950 we adopted our Constitution. Democracy, freedom of faith, gender equality and economic growth with social justice are the main principles on which our Constitution is based.
The Constitution guides us as we progress towards bringing about social-economic transformation in our country. India is unique in many ways – a developing nation, long oppressed under colonial rule, which has flourished and thrived against all odds. As the World’s largest democracy, we have excelled at the management of diversity – despite innumerable languages, ethnicities and complexities. We have done well because of our very rich history and culture. From religious sculptures and philosophical work to literature, art, architecture, music, physical and natural scenes, there is not a single sphere of human activity that has not had a line of development that is uniquely Indian. At present, India is undergoing economic and social transformation at a scale and speed that has been unmatched in history.
Our Republic Day is a good occasion for us to reflect upon the warm and friendly bilateral relations that exist between India and Romania. Over the last few years our relations have strengthened significantly, but there is huge potential to intensify our relations even further. While the economic engagement between our two countries has grown, there are many opportunities that still remain to be explored. India and Romania have in 2013 signed a “Joint Statement on establishing an Extensive Partnership between India and Romania” which provides an excellent roadmap for deepening our cooperation across all sectors. There have been steady exchanges of visits between our two countries leading to greater engagement and friendship. We welcome such visits and hope these are intensified in future. Exchange of Parliamentary delegations has added yet another dimension to our already close relations.
There is great promise in India-Romania economic and trade relations. India offers many opportunities for Romanian business people. Since the new Government assumed office in May 2014, several new initiatives have been launched which are aimed at transforming the lives of our people. A growing India offers opportunities across sectors in an investor-friendly environment in areas such as manufacturing, pharmaceutical, automobiles, railways, renewable energy, IT and many others. Our growth rate was 7.3% last year and expected to be even better in coming years. The Indian economy is the fastest growing economy among the major economies of the world. The “Make in India” initiative of the Indian Government is a notable step towards providing the policy infrastructure to help foreign companies convert these opportunities into reality. Our Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy is widely reckoned to be amongst the most liberal in the emerging economies allowing up to 100% FDI under automatic route in several sectors and activities. Defence industry is fast emerging as a key area of cooperation and we are keen that more joint ventures and collaborations take place in this sector. Campaigns like Digital India and Skill India are designed to prepare the people of India to take part in this process of growth and development. In recent years, India has witnessed massive growth in the number of start-ups. To tap this energy fully, we have recently launched the Start-up India campaign. All these new initiatives offer immense opportunities for Romanian companies to initiate and intensify business relations with India.
India and Romania have a long history of cultural contacts and people to people relations. Romania has had some very fine Indologists. Romanian is taught in Delhi University and Hindi is being taught in Bucharest University. Indian films are now being shot in Romania. We hope that such contacts between our two peoples will expand in future.
India is keen to further invigorate the bilateral engagement with Romania in a number of areas. We wish to work together with the Government of Romania for the mutual benefit and good of our countries and our people. I hope this upcoming year will see a further deepening and strengthening of India-Romania relations.