Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said Lithuania could be an important technology partner for India, as he underlined the immense potential for growth in bilateral trade.
Addressing the Indian community at the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on Sunday, Vice President Naidu also called upon the diaspora to serve as a bridge in strengthening economic and cultural relations between the two countries.
Noting that the bilateral trade between the two countries was below potential, he said Lithuania could be an important technology partner for India, especially in the of lasers, renewable energy, agro-food processing and life sciences.
Vice President Naidu, who arrived here on Saturday, is on a five-day three-nation tour to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, the first ever high-level visit from India to the three Baltic countries.
Observing that India has become one of the fastest growing large economies in the world, the vice president said the business sentiment following the numerous initiatives implemented by the government was positive and upbeat.
“The new India’s mantra is ‘Reform, Perform and Transform’,” he said.
Vice President Naidu also stressed that India was one of the most open economies of the world and is placed now at the 77th rank among 190 countries in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index.
The vice president said the ‘Make in India’ campaign was establishing India as the hub of manufacturing and investment.
Besides, ‘Smart Cities’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiatives are providing immense opportunities to collaborate and work together.
“Our youth are driving the digital revolution, powering the start-up ecosystem and pioneering artificial intelligence,” he said.
Vice President Naidu praised the Indian diaspora for acting as a bridge to integrate the cultures of India and Lithuania.
Appreciating the keen interest showed by Lithuania in Indian culture, philosophy, arts and spirituality, the vice president described the members of the diaspora as India’s cultural ambassadors.
Applauding the Vilnius University for being at the forefront in promoting Indology studies, including Hindi, the vice president said interest in Indian philosophy, films and cuisine had risen phenomenally.
Referring to the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Naidu said Lithuania held a special place of importance because Gandhiji’s closest friend and soul mate, Hermann Kallenbach, was from Lithuania.
Kallenbach was a Lithuanian born Jewish South African doctor who was one of the foremost friends and associates of Mahatma Gandhi.
Vice President Naidu thanked the Lithuanian government for commemorating their friendship by installing a sculpture of Gandhi and Kallenbach in Rusne.
Earlier, the vice president visited the city of Kaunas and met with Mayor Visvaldas Matijosaitis, who hosted a lunch to Naidu and the Indian delegation.
He also visited the Institute of Material Sciences and the Ultra Sound Research Institute at the Santaka Valley of the Kaunas University of Technology in Kaunas.
(With input from agency)