New Delhi : Indian diplomats should engage pro-actively with overseas Indian communities in their host countries and enhance India’s sphere of influence in emerging economies, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said here Wednesday.
Addressing the heads of missions, Ravi said: “You must recognize the overseas Indian community as a strategic resource for inclusive and effective engagement. Several overseas Indians, individually and collectively and some overseas Indian institutions have grown in stature and today constitute strong allies in articulating India’s strategic interests”.
He urged Indian mission heads to “transform the overseas community into an effective resource through sustained and consummate engagement to further India’s interests”.
He warned that India was “in real danger of losing that sphere of influence to other countries or other expatriate groups”.
“The position of overseas Indians in some of the old diaspora countries in the Caribbean is indeed a cause for worry,” said Ravi.
The minister said that Indian envoys also needed to build and enhance India’s influence in emerging economies. “Several countries with aging populations in Europe will face severe labour supply shortages and a deficit of skills that their economies will need if they are to sustain their current growth rates.”
“Indians are much sought after for their knowledge, skills and discipline. India must gain the first mover advantage. We must, in the foreseeable future, emerge as a supplier of skilled and trained manpower,” said Ravi.