President Putin, eminent leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and invited leaders,
I thank you for inviting India to the plenary session of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
I bring the greetings and good wishes of 1.25 billion people of India.
I convey our deep sense of gratitude to the members of SCO for accepting India as a full member.
It reflects the natural links of history.
It will also promote peace and prosperity in this vast region that has often been called the pivot of human history.
It advances our shared vision to reconnect and integrate Eurasia’s different region.
India’s spiritual, cultural, political and economic links with the Central Eurasian region has existed since ancient times. And, it has enriched us both.
As the political landscape of the region changed at the turn of this century, India restored its historical ties of natural affinity with the Central Asian countries.
My current visit to all five Central Asian countries is a testimony to the importance that India attaches to the region.
India also has strong and deepening strategic partnership with China and Russia.
Our membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a natural extension of these relationships and mirrors the region’s place in India’s future.
Together with other countries present here, SCO could be a springboard for an integrated and connected Eurasia to become one the most dynamic regions in the world.
For the past few centuries, we have all looked away from the centre of this great landmass, towards the sea and other regions. The time has come to reach out to each other across this region.
We have everything we need to succeed.
We are nearly two-fifth of the humanity. We are blessed with abundant natural resources, skills, markets and technology.
India has been an actively participating in SCO activities that are open to Observers. We have deeply valued our association with SCO.
As we look forward, we would lend our support to improving transportation and communication networks in the region. We can create a vast network of physical and digital connectivity that extends from Eurasia's northern corner to Asia's southern shores. The International North South Transportation Corridor is a step in that direction.
India will be pleased to contribute to the development of infrastructure in the region.
We will support efforts to create an environment that eases barriers and facilitates trade and investments in the region.
India's requirement for energy and resources and its vast and dynamic market will boost prosperity in the SCO region.
In turn, India will deepen its engagement in human resource development, information and communication technology, pharmaceuticals and health care, banking and capital markets, small and medium enterprises and micro finance, and food security and agriculture.
The SCO region is characterised by rich diversity of cultures. Promoting deeper understanding and exchanges, especially among our youth, will promote greater unity in the region and beyond.
The ecology of our region is fragile; and, our natural heritage is truly beautiful. We will work together with SCO for sustainable development and combating climate change.
The future of prosperity rests on the foundation of peace.
India will contribute to advancing peace and friendship in the region.
We will work with SCO to combat terrorism and extremism that is a rising threat to the entire region. A stable and peaceful Afghanistan is a future that the Afghan people richly deserve, but it will also advance peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
In conclusion, Excellencies, I wish to say that India constitutes one-sixth of humanity, growing at 7.5% per year now. It is a land of extraordinary opportunities for our neighbours. In turn, India own dreams can be fulfilled through partnership with neighbours. SCO is an important part of our vision. I assure you of India's full cooperation to SCO.
I also take this opportunity to congratulate Pakistan on joining the SCO.
I wish this meeting all success. India will further its partnership with all partner countries in the region.