Paying glowing tributes to the Indian-American community, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked it to focus its energies on expansion and further development of Indo-US ties, to enable this to become one of the principal relationships of the world.
In a speech that drew frequent applause, Dr Singh said he was confident that the Indian-American community would continue to support India's national priorities and goals. He was speaking at a reception hosted by the Indian Ambassador, Ronen Sen, for the Indian-American community in New York on Thursday.
Expressing sympathy and sorrow over the devastation cuased by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and nearby areas, Dr Singh said India contributed $5 million as a humanitarian gesture. "I am confident the Indian community and professional organisations are in the forefront of efforts to help the affected families," he said.
Dr Singh lauded the role of Indian-Americans in research work in India in the past 15 years. He pointed out that India still had to provide basic necessities for many of its people, while improving the quality of life for the rest. "There is a mood of optimism in India today. Those of you who have visited India recently will have sensed," he said. This, he added, had led to India attracting highly favourable atention globally.
"One of my objectives during this visit, and indeed in most other visits, is to infuse confidence in the global investment community in its approach towards India," Dr Singh said. In his interaction with a large number of American CEOs, he said he found among them, what appeared to be a very promising assessment of India's prospects.
"It is not only our achievements and potential in the economic field that has raised India's image abroad. The significance of India as a working, functioning democracy under most challenging conditions is increasingly appreciated worldwide," Dr Singh said.