THESSALONIKI – “It is not by chance that India is the honoured country at this year’s Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), now that Greece is leaving the crisis behind it and its central slogan is growth everywhere, growth for all,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday as he inaugurated India’s pavilion at the 84th TIF.
The prime minister noted that India had doubled its GDP and the per capital income of its citizens in the last 10 years, with hundreds of millions of Indians now emerging from poverty to produce new wealth.
“We can learn mutual lessons on how growth can be for everyone and go hand in hand with solidarity,” Mitsotakis said and quoted the economist Amartya Sen’s definition of poverty as a “deprivation of human capabilities”, noting that his own goal is to generously hand out a wealth of opportunities.
Earlier, Mitsotakis had been greeted outside the Indian pavilion by a traditional Indian dancing troupe and then by Indian Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Hardeep Singh Puri, who is leading the Indian mission, and Indian Ambassador in Athens Shamma Jain.
In his speech, the Greek prime minister aso referred to India’ status as “the largest democracy in the world” and the fact that Greece and India were countries that shared many traits in common, including their legacy from a “radiant ancient civilisation,” a fight to win back their independence in more recent times and an active and creative diaspora that excelled abroad.
“Indians and Greeks are also linked, however, by common sacrifices,” the Greek premier added, referring to the memorial service that will be held on Sunday for the 520 Indian soldiers of the British Commonwealth that are buried in the Indian Military Cemetery.
Mitsotakis was afterward shown around the stands at the Indian pavilion and had meetings with Puri and the CEOs of top Indian firms.