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It gives me immense pleasure in addressing you today in connection with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017.
At the outset, I wish to thank Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, for giving Karnataka an opportunity to host the 14th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017 in Bengaluru city.
Government of Karnataka is keen to host the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas between 7th to 9th January 2017, as it gives us an opportunity to revitalize this idea of Indian-ness.
This is the first time that PBD is being organized in Karnataka and I assure you that my Government will leave no stone unturned to make this event, a grand success.
9th of January is one of the most significant day in our history, it is on this day in 1915, Mahatma Gandhi, considered as the greatest pravasi, returned to India from South Africa and led Indiaâ€™s freedom struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever.
About 25 million people of Indian descent live on foreign soil. According to World Bank, remittances by the Indian diaspora was about US$ 69 Billion in 2015 â€“ the highest in the world. As dispersed as they are across the world, making name, fame and fortune for themselves, our diaspora is bound by the idea of â€œIndian-nessâ€.
Karnataka, the seventh-largest State in India by area and the eighth-largest by population, Kannadigas - the people, represent Karnataka all over the world and are known for high skill and their contributions to the respective countries where they live.
An estimated four lakh Kanndigas live in various countries.
Few decades ago, Bengaluru and Karnataka were not known outside India. The IT revolution brought about by home grown companies like Infosys, Wipro and other manufacturing companies have today put the city and the State on the global map. So much so, it has invariably become the 1st choice for technology led companies to set up their offices, captive R&D centres in India, thanks to the excellent talent available in the State.
Government of Karnataka is working to leverage our inherent strengths by providing the right ecosystem for individual and industry to grow and prosper. We are working to provide the right infrastructure and support ecosystem. Our strategy is based on 5 key areas:
We have organized a highly successful Investor meet - Invest Karnataka 2016 in February, at Bengaluru, approved projects worth about Rs. 1.75 lakh crore and received investment intentions worth about Rs. 1.25 lakh crore. We also had an excellent NRI session during Invest Karnataka 2016 which deliberated on connecting our overseas Indians back to their roots.
In the recently published data by DIPP, out of the total investment intentions of Rs 3.11 lakh crore that India received in the in the first 6 months of 2016, Karnataka received the major share of 38.34% amounting to Rs 68,000 Crore & tops the list of maximum investment intentions received.
Further, as per the FDI statistics published by DIPP, Karnataka has attracted more than 5.2 billion US dollars in FDI over the last one year, which makes it the 2nd best State in terms of attracting FDI in the country.
Germany, Japan, France, Switzerland, Canada, Israel, UK have their consular offices in Bengaluru, 19 countries have appointed honorary consul generals, many trade commissioners have their offices in Bengaluru. More than 650 companies from these countries have their operations in the State.
All these are the reflection of the faith investors have in our policies & result of sustained efforts of our Government in creating an industrial and business ecosystem in the State.
Karnataka has much in store to offer to every delegate in the Pravasi Bharathiya Divas 2017, beside meaningful conferences covering vast subjects and creating interest for NRI investor community, we would be showcasing the Art & Culture of Karnataka and arrange special package tours to suit everyoneâ€™s time and interest.
Government of Karnataka is committed to partnering and working closely with Ministry of External Affairs towards making Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017, an event to remember in the coming years.
Through your medium I cordially invite our overseas Indian friends to block their dates, attend the Pravasi Bharathiya Divas 2017 & experience Karnataka â€“ one State, many worlds.
I also invite each and every one of you present here to attend the event and also help in giving wide publicity to the event. Let us all come together and make Pravasi Bharathiya Divas 2017 a grand success.