Dr. S Jaishankar urges Indian community in Brazil to act as a bridge between two countries



Our Bureau
Sao Paulo

India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. S. Jaishankar has urged the Indian community in Brazil to act as a bridge in developing close contact between India and the South American country. “The Indian community has a very important role to play in shrinking the gap between India and Brazil,” Dr Jaishankar said on Saturday, August 20.

The External Affairs Minister was speaking at a community reception hosted by the Indian Association of Sao Paulo (IASP). The minister landed in the city just a couple of hours before attending the reception at Hotel Transamerica here. An impressive crowd comprising CEOs of Indian firms, business people, traders, academics, artists and community leaders turned up at the event to meet and hear Dr Jaishankar.

On his maiden visit to Brazil, Dr Jaishankar spent quite some time meeting the members of Indian community personally and taking photos with them after his speech. In his address, the minister focused on what the Indian government was doing to make life better for Indians at home and how the Indian community can contribute in making the India-Brazil relations stronger. “Our immediate goal should be to raise the bilateral trade to $15 billion from the current $12 billion. We would also like to increase our trade with the region to $50 billion,” Dr Jaishankar said, urging the Indian firms to take lead in achieving the goal.

Earlier, welcoming the minister to Brazil, Ambassador Suresh Reddy said he could not ask for a “better community than we have in Brazil”. Ambassador Reddy also emphasized on how Brazil is an important partner for India. “We are certain that your visit will be a big boost to bilateral relations between the two countries,” Ambassador Reddy said.

The evening began with the members of Indian community meeting and greeting the visiting dignitary. Then the venue moved to a more formal setting in a brightly-lit hall where the minister addressed the community.

In his welcome address, IASP president Shobhan Saxena shared some ideas and thoughts of the Indian community in Brazil with Dr Jaishankar. “We hope your visit will open a new chapter in India-Brazil relations. We hope it will lead to more exchange of ideas, trade, people to people contact and, hopefully, some changes in the visa policy that can make the flow of people and goods much easier between our two countries,” the IASP president said, thanking the minister for attending the reception.

After a thought-provoking speech by Dr Jaishankar, a large number of people wanted to ask him questions about Indian politics and foreign policy. Despite his tight schedule, the minister stayed on the stage and answered six questions about different aspects of Indian policy.

After the interactive session, the Indian Consul General in Sao Paulo, Ms Manisha Swami, delivered her vote of thanks address. Thanking the minister, the ambassador, the Indian Association and all the guests, Ms Swami said the visit would open a new chapter in India-Brazil relations.  

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