Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India is emerging as a global manufacturing and start-up hub. Addressing the Indian diaspora in the Ugandan capital Kampala last night, Mr Modi said, many of the ‘Made-in-India’ products, including cars and smartphones, are today exported to nations from whom the country used to import.
Mr Modi said 11,000 startups have been registered in India in the last four years, making the country a land of start-ups. Prime Minister also hailed India’s ties with Uganda and other African nations, saying the resource-rich continent is now in the centre of his government’s foreign policy. Mr Modi said India will open 18 new embassies, taking the total number of the country’s missions in Africa to 47.
Noting that the trade between India and Africa has witnessed a 32 per cent increase, Prime Minister said Asia and Africa are better positioned in the new world order. Mr Modi reiterated India’s commitment to providing 10 billion US dollars to Africa. He lauded the contribution of the Indian community in the growth of Uganda, but also recalled the hardship faced by them in the 1970s when some of them were forced to leave the country.
The Prime Minister thanked Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for re-embracing the Indian community. Mr Modi also recalled his trip to Uganda as Gujarat chief minister in 2007 and said the memory of that visit was still afresh. The Ugandan president remained present throughout the nearly 30-minute address of Mr Modi and also spoke at the event.
President Museveni lauded the contribution of the Indian community in the country’s growth.
Mr Modi and Ugandan President also unveiled a bust of India’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the Indian community event in Kampala. Prime Minister arrived in Kampala yesterday evening and held delegation-level talks with Ugandan President. India and Uganda also signed four MoUs in the areas of defence cooperation, visa exemption for official and diplomatic passport holders, cultural exchange programme and material testing laboratory.
India also announced two Lines of Credit worth nearly 200 million US dollars to Uganda in energy, infrastructure, agriculture and dairy sectors. Mr Modi will address the Ugandan Parliament today. This will be the first such address by any Indian Prime Minister.