Inauguration by Prime Minister of India

"...........We invite you not only to share our vision of India in the new millennium but also to help us shape its contours..........."
Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India at Inaugural Ceremony, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, 2003

A three-day conference is being held in New Delhi to encourage overseas Indians to build closer links with their homeland. The meeting is part of an effort to tap the enormous potential of skilled Indians living abroad. India calls them the "global Indian family" - about 22 million people of Indian origin scattered all over the world. The annual income of overseas Indians is estimated at $160 billion, about one third of India's entire gross domestic product

FICCI has initiated an action plan to bring about a tenfold increase in FDI inflow from the Indian Diaspora to US$ 5 billion by 2008. To achieve this objective FICCI has launched a new division to service and leverage the global network of NRIs/PIOs. The Division would work in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs in particular and the Government of India in general to forge a constructive and productive relationship with the Indian Diaspora. FICCI's Diaspora Division aims at playing a key role in strengthening the processes unleashed by the first Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to create a sustained multi-dimensional and constantly growing relationship between India and its 20 million strong Diaspora spread across 110 countries.

FICCI's Diaspora Division would :

Create specialized networks across sectors and countries to leverage the Diaspora's strengths for India's economic growth and development, just like China's bamboo network of overseas
Specifically focus on strengthening the commercial and economic dimensions of India's relations with the Diaspora.
Create a network for mapping of skills and technologies available with the Diaspora and work with Central and State Governments to increase their inflows into India.
Leverage strong marketing networks of the Diaspora across the globe to promote exports of Indian goods and services both among Indian communities and their host countries. For example, each of the 10,000 curry-houses in the UK is a customer of Indian spices, food products, handicrafts and even culinary talent.
Tap the growing interest among NRIs/PIOs to increasingly contribute to India's social development through voluntary action and charity in cooperation with its Socio Economic Development Foundation (SEDF)
Work in tandem with FICCI's Committees in a number of sectors such as Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare, Education, Information Technology, Biotechnology, Entertainment, Media, Tourism, Financial Services and Science and Technology, to increase Diaspora's contribution to these sectors and also enhance two way exchanges between Indian companies & commercial entities of the Indian Diaspora based abroad.
FICCI is well positioned to create these specialized networks across sectors since it has already compiled a huge database comprising thousands of associations & chambers of Indian origin as well as individuals, corporates, business leaders and professionals spread over 75 countries. It was only with the help of this database that FICCI was able to mobilize a record participation of nearly 2000 NRI/PIO delegates from 61 countries. This database is being constantly updated online with the help of an especially dedicated portal that FICCI has created for Pravasi Bharatiyas.