Indian President Ram Nath Kovind spoke at length in a speech in Jamaica on Tuesday as he extended his greetings to the Jamaican delegates and the Indian diaspora, embracing 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.
Accompanied by his wife first lady Savita Kovind, daughter Swati Kovind, Union Minister Pankaj Chowdhary, Lok Sabha MP Rama Devi, Satish Kumar Gautam and Secretary-Level Officers, President Ram Nath Kovind is on a four-day visit to Jamaica to strengthen linkages with the Jamaican Diaspora and encourage their participation in the process of national development.
Addressing the gathering, President Kovind said, "Jamaica has a very special place in India and among our people as Indians from all walks of life had been coming to this beautiful country and making it their home." He added Indians have blended seamlessly into Jamaican society, much like the plants and trees which they brought with them.
Governor General of Jamaica Patrick Allen also addressed the gathering. The President's address was held at the King's House.
On the trade front, the Indian President called trade and economic cooperation vital pillars of friendship between the two nations.
"We see our economies complementing each other, not just for trade, but also to transform our economies through the digital revolution," he said, labelling the fact that Jamaica has the potential to be the 'knowledge highway' in the region to cater to the needs of the large economies nearby.
Speaking to the Indian diaspora in Jamaica, President Ram Nath Kovind said that Jamaican popular culture has charmed India as well as the world. Indians have been captivated by the tunes of Reggae music, even if many of the musicians have never visited Jamaica.
The Indian President expressed his further interest in young minds of both the nations to work jointly in several fields like Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Jamaican traditional medicine and Ayurveda, and in building together a climate-smart world and build a society that is prosperous, progressive and peaceful.
Jamaica will always find a willing partner in India, he further added.
Ram Nath Kovind deeply appreciated the commitment and the importance of bilateral relations that Jamaica shares with India as the two countries are natural partners in many ways, he said.
Calling the embrace between the two nations 'mutual', Indian President Kovind also talked about cricket icons like George Headley, Michael Holding and Chris Gayle being admired by generations of cricket lovers in India. Indians are extremely passionate about cricket, which binds our geographically distant countries very close.
The greatness of Usain Bolt is well known to Indian sports lovers, he said, stating that it is inspiring to watch Jamaica racing ahead of other nations in the medals tally at the Olympics. If there ever will be a ranking of nations in terms of sporting influence, Jamaica will surely be high up there.
Highlighting the need for ethical market practices and countries with respect for an inclusive, equitable, stable, secure and rules-based international order, he emphasized working together to put up strong and vibrant democracies.
President Kovind is on a state visit to Jamaica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines from May 15 to 21.
India and Jamaica have traditionally enjoyed cordial relations based on democratic values, common linkages of history, a Parliamentary democratic system, membership in the Commonwealth, use of the English language and the love for cricket. (ANI)