“It is a pleasure to see that more and more Spanish companies discover India as a promising market and a good destination for their investments”. India’s Ambassador, Vikram Misri, referred to the increasing economic interest between his country and Spain with those words. He also added that “I can affirm your experience will be very positive”.
During the reception celebrated to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Constitution of the biggest democracy in the world, the ambassador pointed out –in the presence of the Spanish Minister of Defence, Pedro Morenés, and of the secretary of State for Commerce, Jaime García Legaz (both in the picture, next to the head of the Indian diplomatic legation)-, that “if our political and cultural relations have always been strong, our economic relations are now are about to be on the same level quite fast”.
The ambassador was pleased, because “Spain and India are old countries and young nations, which will celebrate 60 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year” and he highlighted the value of the Constitution of his country, “which has made of India a secular, democratic and pluralist republic, despite all the problems of poverty, illiteracy and insecurity that we have suffered”.
When speaking about his experience during the six months he has been leading his diplomatic mission in Madrid, Vikram Misri said, in a very fluent Spanish, that “it is almost impossible for one not to like Spain”. He enumerated three reasons indicating the proximity between both countries: food –“we are gastronomic superpowers”-, family –“we feel much identified with Spain’s family values”- and, humorously, “the taste of Spanish people for arguing, as much as in India”.
Finally, in a relaxed tone, he affirmed that “no speech in Madrid can end without a football reference”. Therefore, he referred to the recent victory of the Atlético of Calcuta in the first professional league of his country and encouraged the president of the Real Madrid, Florentino Pérez, to do something, because the “Atlético of Calcuta needs competence”.
The reception was attended by a large representation of ambassadors accredited in Spain, among others, those of the United States, Honduras, the Philippines, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, North Korea, Israel, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Andorra, Malta, Cyprus, Estonia, Ukraine, Canada, Czech Republic, Belgium and Palestine, as well as many diplomats representing other embassies.
Also present in the event were the director general of North America, Asia and the Pacific, Ernesto de Zulueta; the director of Casa Asia, Ramón Moreno; the advisor of International Relations of the Chamber of Spain, Carmen Pérez Otaola; the person in charge of International Relations in Airbus, Carlos Bastarreche; the president of Global Trade Investment, Domingo Materdey; representatives of different companies and executive directors of the World Tourism Organization, Marcio Favilla L. de Paula, and Zoltan Somogy.
Text and pictures: A. Rubio