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Press Release

President calls upon PIO Parliamentarians to Build Economic and Strategic connections with India

New Delhi, Thursday, January 11, 2018: The Parliamentarians of Indian Origin should help build economic, people-to-people and strategic connections that will be of benefit to their countries and India, said President Shri Ram Nath Kovind, speaking at a conference in New Delhi. He asked them to link the priorities of their countries with India’s development and see how these can intersect with India’s growth.

The conference was organized by the Antar Rashtriya Sahyog Parishad Bharat (ARSP) and the People of Indian Origin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PIOCCI). It was attended by more than 120 Parliamentarians and Mayors of Indian origin from 23 countries. The conference deliberated on how cultural, economic and business linkages could be developed.

The President further said that the conference was a milestone as it brought together parliamentarians and public representatives of Indian origin from countries across the globe. The President said that the Indian diaspora had climbed to appreciable heights in almost all the countries where it had found a home. It had contributed to the well-being of that country and of that society – enriching the economy and adding to intellectual wealth and local culture.

“Members of the Indian diaspora work hard on farms in countries as far apart as Italy, Bolivia, and Tanzania. They are instrumental in the tech start-up ecosystem of Silicon Valley. They form the backbone of the economy of Dubai and other major business cities in the Gulf region. The global financial centers of New York, London, and Singapore would simply not be the same without the Indian diaspora,” said the President.

“For the Government of India, engagement with PIO parliamentarians – or indeed with the wider Indian diaspora community – is not a transactional relationship or a zero-sum game. Rather, we look upon the community and look upon you – the PIO parliamentarians and elected and public representatives – as a living bridge. You have a role in enhancing understanding between your countries and the country of your parents and ancestors,” added the President.

Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla, who was the Guest of Honor, said that the overseas Indians were all pioneers in their respective fields and had made exceptional contributions in their chosen professions. He stressed that the present government had been making earnest efforts to strengthen its engagement with the Indian diaspora. He further emphasized on the importance of such conventions and said, ‘These conventions provide a platform to the overseas Indian community to engage with the government and the people of the land of their ancestors for their mutually beneficial activities. These conferences are also useful in networking among the overseas Indian communities’.

ARSP President Shri Virendra Gupta, India’s former ambassador to South Africa, said that the ARSP had been actively engaged in providing an interface for the diaspora during the last five decades. In doing so, the roles of those who were politically active in their adopted countries had been recognized.

ARSP Secretary-General and PIOCCI patron Shri Shyam Parande said that the Indian diaspora was very vibrant. He said that the emergence of a global body of Parliamentarians of Indian origin would make this world a better place to live in.

Present in the conference, Shri Satish Mahana, Cabinet Minister for Industrial development in UP Government, said, “As the largest populated state in India, we are building new industrial policies that can attract innovative industries and investments into our state. Under the dynamic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi and UP CM Shri Adityanath Yogi, we are in a position to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship in Uttar Pradesh. I am delighted to be part of a forum that echoes the same spirit of economic and cultural growth.”

Striking a celebratory note, Mr. Karan Bilimoria, House of Lords, London, and an esteemed PIO Parliamentarian stated, “To have the president of India speak at a forum with over hundred PIO parliamentarians from around the world is wonderful. His message on the potential of Diaspora came out very clear. It is with a mutual sense of pride that we approach this engagement. We hope that this partnership is a powerful enabler for times to come.”

On a similar note Mr. Kanwaljit Bakshi, an esteemed PIO Parliamentarian from New Zealand said, “It is delightful to be part of an event that seeks to strengthen ties between India and its Diaspora. It is great to know that our Indian brothers and sisters earned a place for themselves in the economic and political spheres of their host countries. We should make the most of these achievements through constant interaction and work towards mutual respect and cooperation.”

Ms. Priti Patel, till recently a minister in the UK cabinet said, “This international conference is very significant because we have seen the coming together of the Indian community from around the world. We will now be able to use this significant global network of parliamentarians to help secure the economic interests and development of India. Many of us represent modern establishments and economies including entities like the IMF, World Bank, UN P5 Security Council, etc. As a part of our expertise, we also need to leverage our diaspora network.”

About ARSP

Antar Rashtriya Sahyog Parishad is a leading organization that connects people of Indian origin with India. It organizes regular events to discuss issues relating to the people of Indian origin. For more information, please go to


People of Indian Origin Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the global platform for Indian business diaspora. The Chamber has a presence in more than 40 countries and works closely with business communities in countries where Indians are in significant numbers. For more information, please go to