Guangzhou: The 21st century becoming the “Asian Century” largely depends on the achievements of India and China, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday.
Addressing a gathering of the Indian community in this Chinese city, the capital of Guangdong province, Mukherjee said both India and China were the largest developing countries in the world.
“The prospect of the 21st century becoming the ‘Asian Century’ will depend largely on what India and China achieve individually and together,” he said.
“The rising fortunes of 2.5 billion people of our two countries will be of the greatest consequence not only for our region, but for all humanity.”
Mukherjee arrived here on Tuesday on a four-day visit to China.
He said there was a host of complementarities and synergies between India and China.
“The Indian community here has a key role to play in realising the full potential of these,” he said.
“At the government level, we have forged a closer developmental partnership with China and are engaged in diversifying our cooperation into every area of common interest.”
According to the president, by 2025, it is likely that successful trade, flow of investments and collaborations in technology between India and China may bring about transformative changes not only in the two countries but also in the extended neighbourhood and beyond.
“We will witness a narrowing of the gap between developed and developing countries and, hopefully, a more equitable distribution of wealth and power among major economies,” he said.
Mukherjee also praised the Indian diaspora saying that India was very proud of them.
“Indians all over the world are successful not only as dedicated professionals and hardworking businessmen, but also as model citizens,” he said.
“They are proud of their contribution to the society in which they choose to live and work; yet they nurture in themselves and their younger generations an enduring "Indian-ness” and an undying love for their motherland,” he stated, adding that the Indian community in China now numbers around 45,000.
Stating that India and China were proud inheritors of a grand cultural legacy, he said the two countries were among the oldest civilisations with a rich accumulated wisdom.
“We have learned to cherish our glorious past and keep in our hearts the values that we have inherited. We are confident that our journey forward will be smoother and our future brighter when we walk together in step and with confidence in one another,” Mukherjee said.
He said that despite a global economic slowdown, the Indian economy continued on a positive trajectory.
“The government has undertaken major initiatives, including the Make in India, Skill India, Digital India and Swachch Bharat campaigns, to position India at a different level on the world map,” the president said.
“I welcome all members of the Indian diaspora to contribute their skills and participate in these programmes enthusiastically,” he stated, adding that the present moment was very conducive for investments in India.
Mukherjee, who is accompanied by Minister of State for Textiles Santosh Kumar Gangwar and four MPs from both the BJP and the Congress, will reach Beijing on Wednesday where he will meet the top Chinese leadership.