08/01/2015 12:55 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

Sushma Swaraj Says India's Diaspora An 'Asset'

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj greets journalists upon arrival at the airport in Katmandu, Nepal, Friday, July 25, 2014. Swaraj is on a three-day visit to the country during which she will focus on strengthening bilateral ties and is also expected to prepare the ground for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the country. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

GANDHINAGAR: Terming India's diaspora as an asset to the nation, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said the government is determined to work closely with the overseas Indian community to leverage each other's strength to mutual benefit.

"It pleases all Indians when the overseas Indian community is respected for its work culture, discipline, successful integration with the local community and for its outstanding contribution in their country's of residence. A successful and prosperous diaspora is an asset to India much as a strong and self-reliant India would be a source of inspiration for the diaspora. This synergy acts as a vibrant bridge between us and sustains our relationship," Swaraj said at the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas held here at Mahatma Mandir complex to mark the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's return from South Africa to India.

"The Government of India is determined to work closely with the diaspora to leverage each other's strength to mutual benefit," she added.

She further said, "The Prime Minister has himself taken the lead in reaching out to overseas Indian community and engage. We welcome entrepreneurs, investors and professionals from the diaspora to partake in our endeavour develop the motherland and restore it to its past glory. I promise you that it will be a mutually rewarding and satisfying partnership....."

The External Affairs Minister called the event being held in Gujarat an apt one to mark the 100 th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's return to India.

"It is apt the PBD is being held in Gujarat marking the 100th anniversary of the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India from South Africa. Bapuji gave shape and character to India's freedom struggle, demonstrated the power of non-violence by precipitating the disintegration of the mightiest empire in the world at that time.....," she said.

Earlier Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally inaugurated the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, which was attended by national and international leaders.

Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari will present the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awards tomorrow.

(with inputs)

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