envoy pledges to build on ties with Guyana
`We need to create visible landmarks in the form of a
hospital, technical institution or some similar
venture through our economic cooperation...' - High
Commissioner, Mr. Tara Singh
RECENTLY appointed Indian High
Commissioner to Guyana, Mr. Tara Singh, has
said that although Guyana and India enjoy a close and
warm friendship based on age-old historical ties, the
potential that exists for further strengthening
bilateral relations has not been fully exploited.
Speaking Sunday evening at a reception he hosted at
his residence in University Gardens, East Coast
Demerara, to mark India's 54th year as a Republic, Mr.
Singh said since he arrived in Guyana just two months
ago, he has begun to realise that "we have not
fully exploited the potential that exists for further
strengthening the bilateral relations between India
As such, he pledged that during his tenure in Guyana
as the High Commissioner of India, he would endeavour
to further increase the assistance to this country
under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC)
programme and other similar schemes.
"We need to create visible landmarks in the form
of a hospital, technical institution or some similar
venture through our economic cooperation (and) I am
sure in this endeavour I would be able to count on the
support and cooperation from His Excellency the
President and his Government," he said.
President Bharrat Jagdeo and India's
High Commissioner to Guyana, Mr. Tara Singh toast
during the celebration of India's 54th
"We are going to begin the new year with high
level contacts between India and Guyana when the Indian
Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Digvijay
Singh arrives in Guyana in early February for
bilateral discussions," he told the gathering at
TRIBUTE: members of the Indian Cultural Centre during a dance item at the 54th anniversary celebration of India's Republican status on the lawns of the Indian High Commissioner's Residence, University Gardens, on Sunday night.
(Winston Oudkerk photos)
According to Singh, both Guyana and India remain
committed to the common ideals of promoting universal
peace and equitable economic development and have been
working together for the creation of a safer and
"The bilateral relations between India and Guyana
have always been cordial and friendly," he noted.
The envoy also lauded the ITEC programme as an
important avenue of cooperation between the two
He pointed out that every year, many Guyanese
nationals are sent to India to receive training and
practical experience in diverse fields in some of
India's best educational, technical and professional
institutions under this programme.
He also said that all expenses for such training,
including cost of international travel, are borne by
the Government of India.
Singh, who succeeded Mr. Prakash
Joshi as High Commissioner, said that under the
ITEC programme, several Indian professionals are
deputed to Guyana to work in various specialised
"At present, we have some ITEC experts working in
Guyana and many more are expected soon," he said.
The Indian High Commission, he said, has been making
every effort to promote cultural links between Indian
In this regard, he said a number of special programmes
highlighting different aspects of Indian culture,
history and other areas are telecast on the local TV
He expressed optimism that the Guyanese Head of State
would visit India this year.
He also proposed a toast to President Bharrat Jagdeo's
good health and to the strengthening of bonds of
friendship and cooperation which exist "between
our two fraternal countries, governments and their
people" and to the progress and welfare of all
In response to his toast, President Jagdeo told the
Indian High Commissioner that Guyana remains firmly
committed to deepening relations with India.
He noted that since its independence, India has made
admirable advances in becoming "a modern,
progressive and prosperous nation".
"Considerable progress has been made towards
guaranteeing the full realisation of the objectives of
the founding fathers of the Indian Republic which have
centred on the improvement of the living standards of
India's vast population and the enhancement of India's
role within the international community," he
He said equally impressive has been the role India
plays in international affairs in the various councils
of the world.
"India's voice will always be heard in defence of
developing countries and in the promotion of
international peace and security," the Guyanese
Head of State lauded.
President Jagdeo said, too, that Guyana and India have
historically worked together in all institutions of
which both countries are members, to advance
political, economic and social conditions.
As such, Mr. Jagdeo told the gathering, it is
"only fitting that we recognise today the many
achievements that have been recorded in all areas of
(India's) national endeavours". The President
went on to list some of these achievements.
Earlier in the programme, the Indian High Commissioner
took the opportunity to highlight some important
aspects of the Indian economy, which he said has been
growing at a satisfactory rate of 6-7% over the years.
"On many critical indicators - exports,
industrial production, foreign exchange reserves,
foreign investment and inflation - the economy did
much better in the year 2002," he said.
"We remain committed to building an egalitarian
society in which all strata of our society derive
benefit from the fruits of progress (and) we have
before us the goal of eradicating poverty and
providing a decent standard of living to all our
citizens," he said.
He also proudly announced that India has been forecast
to have the fastest growing information technology
(IT) market in the world during 2003.
"The Indian domestic market is expected to grow
between 25 and 30 per cent. The technology investments
by the Union and State Governments and state-owned
companies would promote domestic growth (and) India
would remain the undisputed leader as an 'offshore
business process outsourcing' destination during
2003," High Commissioner Singh said.
Several Government Minister and members of the
diplomatic community, and their spouses, attended the
anniversary celebrations, which included a rich
cultural programme of songs, classical and other
dances, drumming, and yoga..