Chennai, February 20, 2021

Hon. M.C. Sampath, ji

Minister for Industries, Government of Tamil Nadu, and Our Chief Guest,

Mr. Krishna Pimple

Honorary Consul of the United Republic of Tanzania in Chennai, Kerala, Karnataka and Andra Pradesh, and Our Host tonight,

The Honorary Consuls Here present,

The Co-Chairman, Interlinkages Subcommittee of the CII, Southern Region,

The Regional Director of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce,

The Consul General of the United States of America in Chennai,

Invited Guests,

Dear Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Namaskar! Jambo!

I am very much pleased to be here today and to be able to propose to you these welcoming remarks.

Let me, therefore; welcome each and everyone to this special function tonight.  We know and, are quite aware of the challenging and unprecedented circumstances brought about by COVID-19.

But also, we appreciate that you could spare time out of your weekend break to join us. And we take this gesture as an honor and privilege to us. Thank you very much.

In a special way, I thank the Honorable Minister for honoring us with your presence. Thank you very much, Sir.

I salute the Group of Honorary Consuls here present today.  I may have met some of you at the Annual Dinner events you usually conduct in New Delhi. Your presence here in such a good number is a clear testimony of your strong solidarity, which we very much cherish.

I would like to sincerely thank our Host, Mr. Krishna Pimple and Madam and also his CISB team for the excellent arrangements and, especially for the food and drinks. It has been confirmed to me that there is a lot of food and drinks tonight.

I was, therefore; cautioned about the time I should spend in my remarks. Because, it is said that if you speak before people eat, you are accused of keeping them away from their food. And if you speak after they have eaten, you are accused of giving them indigestion. In other words, both ways you lose.

So, I will try to cut my losses by limiting myself to a few issues:

I take this opportunity to express great satisfaction with the Tanzania and India bilateral relations which were established 59 years ago.

We have worked together by supporting each other on various bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues of common concern over those many years.

By commissioning Mr. Pimple as Honorary Consul in these four strategic States of South India, we hope that we will be able to scale up these collaborations for our mutual benefit.

The fact that Chennai and Dar es Salaam are two major ports for India and Tanzania;  confirms that this office will further enlarge both trade and business mobility of our two countries, as well as people to people contacts.

Whereas Chennai port, also known as “the Detroit of South Asia” is a gateway to South Asia, Dar es Salaam port is a famous gateway to Tanzania and, to most of the land-linked countries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. This similarity calls, therefore, for greater cooperation and partnership between our two great ports through sister port arrangement, going forward.

That is why; I wish to share with you our strong excitement for having Mr. Pimple as our Honorary Consul in Chennai; with consular jurisdictions over Kerala, Karnataka and Andra Pradesh, which are all very important States for India and Tanzania development agenda.

Friends, let me also explain to you my personal excitement upon the appointment of this great man.  His appointment is largely fulfilling to me; personally, as I am the one who has initiated the process of his appointment three years ago.

 More importantly, of course, is the fact that unlike the appointments of Honorary Consuls in Mumbai and Kolkata which have taken more than ten years, he has taken only three years! Again, unlike those two; each one with singular consular jurisdiction; he is unique in that he has been given the mandate in four strategic States I have mentioned to you.

So, Friends, you can certainly feel this excitement on my part for having this expansive consulate which will bring closer consular services for our people of these two friendly countries. Surely, there couldn’t be a better choice than that of Mr. Krishna Pimple.

And I am saying this because; Mr. Pimple has an immense interest in Tanzania. As we inaugurate this office today, he has already committed Ten Million USD for the construction of a pharmaceutical plant in Dar es Salaam and he is also considering setting up a dialysis health centre to cater for the whole of East and Southern Africa region.

On this note, I should like to recognize Mr. Pimple’s business partner, and my dear friend, Alban Rodricks, (please rise), for his firm determination in implementing these investment projects I have just mentioned to you.

Alban has been very instrumental in bringing up the projects and he has travelled to Tanzania eight times since the inception of the projects. Thank you so much, Alban.

I am quite certain that you will inspire the business fraternity from these important Indian States to invest heavily in Tanzania as you have done, so far.

Friends, I want to also bring to your attention that Mr. Pimple’s appointment to this post was published in the Government Gazette of India on the 4th of January 2021. But since we were still in the festive mood, we opted to have this official commission by this month.

And I was instructed by the Government of Tanzania to convey the appreciations of my Government to the Government of India, and also to the State Governments of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andra Pradesh for endorsing the appointment of Mr. Krishna Pimple as Honorary Consul of Tanzania in these four States.

Please allow me to congratulate Mr. Pimple immensely for this honor and privilege of serving Tanzania in India, and to assure him of my unflinching support in his role. I very much look forward to working closely with him with a view to scaling up trade, business, investments, tourism and people to people interactions.

Apart from the agreement for this job, the copy of which I will hand over to you shortly, you will find out that my line of communication will be open throughout in facilitating the execution of your mandate. This includes also, the availability of my team at the Mission in New Delhi at any point of time

Dear Friends,

In closing, I wish to welcome each, and everyone present here tonight to visit Tanzania once COVID-19 is contained at any time of the year to taste a variety of tourism attractions that exist in abundance. As you may be aware, since July 2019 Air Tanzania operates between Mumbai and Dar es Salaam. The 5-hours flight makes it possible for you to have breakfast in Mumbai, lunch in Dar es Salaam and dinner in Zanzibar or Serengeti National Park.

Dear Friends,

At this point of time it behooves me to request you to charge your glasses and join me in toasting the Honorary Consul of Tanzania, wishing him all the health and energy in discharging this nobble function.

Cheers!

And thank you for your kind attention.