BANGKOK, JULY 30, 2004
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday lauded the Indian disapora's
contribution to the Thai economy, saying their spirit of enterprise
and adventurism had earned them pride of place in their country of adoption.
Addressing a reception hosted in his honour by Indian Ambassador L.K.
Ponappa and attended by some 200 members of the diaspora, the prime
minister said their success should inspire others, including people
"You have shown that Indian people are second to none in taking
advantage of the opportunities."
Thailand is home to an estimated 15,000 people of Indian origin.
Recalling that it was in Thailand that Subhash Chandra Bose first coined
the slogan "Jai Hind" in November 1943, Manmohan Singh said
it had become a source of inspiration for the country for years.
It was here that he said you are an Indian first and a Hindu, Muslim,
Sikh and Christian afterwards," he said, noting that India's relations
with Thailand went back thousands of centuries.
Manmohan Singh, who arrived here Thursday for the first BIMST-EC Summit,
said his visit was intended to give political direction to using the
forum as a bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia, where India
will be a major facilitator.
"Our government will create new opportunities to strengthen social
and economic relations with out neighbouring countries," he said,
adding that India was seeking the help of its vast Indian diaspora for
He said he intended to use every opportunity during his maiden overseas
visit to meet the leadership of India's neighbours and understand the
new sense of dynamism in international cooperation in the region