Seán Ó Fearghaíl, TD, Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann (Speaker of Lower House of Parliament) said, "I commend my many friends in the Ireland-India Council for their work in making this day happen again, in very difficult circumstances, and also the Council's many allies and supporters who work so hard to make this event such a memorable, warm and engaging event for all friends of India".
Ireland India Council celebrated the 75th Anniversary of Independence of India at its 7th India Day event in Ireland. This Biggest India related event was held virtually as part of the Ireland India Council’s initiative to create and nurture vital inter-country cultural and commercial relationships in a post-COVID/BREXIT World.
Seán Ó Fearghaíl, TD, Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann (Speaker of Lower House of Parliament) said, “I commend my many friends in the Ireland-India Council for their work in making this day happen again, in very difficult circumstances, and also the Council’s many allies and supporters who work so hard to make this event such a memorable, warm and engaging event for all friends of India”.
Seán Fleming, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Finance, addressed the attendees and appreciated the benefits that increased cooperation at all levels between India and Ireland could bring.
Dr Bibek Debroy, Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India, highlighted close interaction between Rabindranath Tagore and W.B. Yeats. “This relationship between the two poets is iconic of Indo-Irish connections”. He emphasised that bilateral trade in goods between India and Ireland in 2018-2019 touched USD one billion. In the post COVID world, the Irish industry can massively contribute to India’s technology sector. Indian health care professionals and specialists can also contribute to further strengthening the Irish health care system”.
Ambassador of Ireland to India, Brendan Ward, said that “The Independence Day of India provides a suitable opportunity to reflect on the relationship between Ireland and India, to look at recent developments and to try to look to the future and the scope for development”.
Prominent speakers at the event were Cllr Alison Gilliland, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh, Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Peter Kavanagh, Mayor of South Dublin County Council, and Cllr Lettie McCarthy, An Cathaoirleach, Dunlaoghaire -Rathdown County Council.Keynote speakers at the event were Mr Rajesh Mehta, Business Leader, International Consultant and Columnist, Mr Damien Nee, Ireland India Council, Dr S K Varshney, Head of International Cooperation, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Prof Brian Norton, Head of Energy Research, Tyndall National Institute, and Mr Michael Loftus, Vice President for External Affairs, MTU Munster Technological University.
According to Rajesh Mehta, ” This is the best time to strengthen business ties for Ireland and India and move towards greater economic cooperation. India can be a great choice, by the year 2030, India may lead the world in almost every category. Ireland can be a good partner for India as well offering a single window to the entire EU market. Ireland’s economy is the fastest-growing in the EU for the fifth year in a row. Besides, Ireland currently offers a corporate tax rate of 12.5%, among the lowest practised by EU nations. Like India, which has a large millennial population, Ireland has the youngest population in Europe currently. The country is also home to one of the most educated workforces globally .He added” India ranks among the top 10 foreign direct investments (FDI) destinations globally & India’s rank at the Ease of Doing Business Index has improved drastically within the last three years. With reforms like New Education Policy and STIP(Science, Technology & Innovation Policy) , there is a huge scope for Irish universities. According to him, ” India is home to around 48 unicorns. Irish companies need to have a base in India if they want to strive for becoming a potential Unicorn. Indian Diaspora, particularly in Silicon Valley, are the major investors which these Irish companies can attract once they have successful Pilots in India .”He also said that” India is grateful to the Irish Government for their help in the harsh times of Covid. Ireland can act as a gateway to Europe for India, and India can act like a Silicon Valley to Ireland. Thus this is the best time for Indian & Irish businesses to collaborate.”
Prashant Shukla, Chairman of Ireland India Council, outlined that “We want Ireland to be India’s footprint in Europe and the crossroads where the World’s two Largest Democracies, India and the United States of America meet at the Heart of the EU—together creating a Sustainable future, urgently addressing Climate Change, Education and Health, especially for the most vulnerable, protecting freedom of speech and expression, whilst nurturing Irish Indian relationships”. Prashant Shukla paid gratitude to all participants, dignitaries, keynote speakers, Media, India Day Steering Committee, Irish Indian Musicians, Amey N Gawand, Francie Conway, Gerry Hanley, James Peppard, Singers Ruth Cahill, Shekhar Singh and Monika Singh, Dancers, Divya Sunikumar and Aarushi Samal. Shukla expressed satisfaction that business collaborations and partnership is progressing well, and both our countries have huge potential.