India, Mexico should focus on inclusive growth: Patil

April 18th, 2008 - 12:24 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil
By Liz Mathew
Mexico City, April 17 (IANS) India and Mexico have an overriding challenge to achieve “inclusive growth, not simply growth”, said President Pratibha Patil, who is on a three-day visit here. In her brief speech before inspecting the guard of honour, accompanied by her Mexican counterpart Felipe Calderon in the premises of the presidential palace Los Pinos, Patil said: “Our two countries also hold similar views. We are working together towards the establishment of a more just, humane and fair world order.”

“India and Mexico face common challenges,” she said as dozens of children in their school uniforms waved Indian and Mexican flags.

“The focus of our policies is the betterment of the lives of our people. We are engaged in this major endeavour through systems of political governance that are rooted in plural democracy. Our overriding challenge is inclusive growth, not simply growth.”

Addressing the gathering, Calderon emphasised on setting up a privileged partnership and spoke about educational and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

He quoted from writings of Nobel laureate Octavio Paz Lozano, Mexican ambassador to India during 1962-68, who had said, “Indian people are very hospitable and follow the religion of friendship.”

While Patil recollected Calderon was the first head of state she had received after assuming office of the Indian president, the Mexican president said: “The importance that Mexico attaches to India is based on the fact that I visited India first after taking over, the first such visit in many decades.”

India and Mexico signed two agreements relating to civil aviation and energy.

Under the civil aviation pact, both countries shall be entitled to designate any number of airlines for operation of mutually agreed services, for which the respective country shall grant appropriate authorization and permission.

The agreements were signed by Non-Conventional Energy Minister Vilasrao Muttemwar, who is accompanying the president, and Mexican Minister for Foreign Relation Patricia Espinoza and Secretary for Energy Georgina Kessel.

After signing the agreement, Calderon said: “India has a substantial and important role in Mexico’s relations with the Asia Pacific region. There can be greater interactions in the number of areas such as infrastructure and food processing. More interactions in education and cultural fields are envisaged as well as technical and scientific cooperation.”

Patil is on her maiden foreign trip since assuming office last year. She will also visit Chile April 20-23.

Although she was scheduled to address a joint session of the Mexican parliament Thursday, the political stand-off between the president’s party and the Left parties over an energy reform bill that has been blocking the ongoing session forced authorities to call it off.

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