Not many are aware that certain provisions of the Indian Constitution were inspired from the Irish Constitution. However, the point should not be part of history and could be an element to expand an already growing partnership. The Indian Constitution’s Directive Principles of State Policy have been inspired by the Constitution of Ireland, Irish Ambassador to India Brendan Ward told ET on the eve of India’s Republic Day.
In more recent times trade and investment and Indian diaspora in Ireland are bringing the two countries closer. “Trade and investment also create links between our countries. The presence of specialists from Enterprise Ireland and IDA at Ireland House in Mumbai offers a focal point for building and developing relationships,” Ward informed. “For Indian companies seeking a presence in the European Union, Ireland is a natural location with a common language and legal system. Irish companies investing in Asia also find these advantages in India. With two-way trade now exceeding €4 billion per annum our countries are serious partners.”
The Indian community in Ireland is growing rapidly and currently stands at almost forty thousand. They work in fields such as ICT, Pharma, Finance, Health Care, Education and services. Their presence means that Indian traditions and festivals are now also becoming part of Irish life, according to the senior diplomat who had also served as Irish envoy to Turkey before India. Ireland has emerged as one of the top five financial centres of Europe providing immense opportunities to Indians.
“Tourism from India is also growing rapidly, apart from family visits many Indians are learning to enjoy typical Irish activities such as fishing, riding, golf, shooting, hiking and water sports as well as visiting our ancient castles and archeological sites. For Irish tourists India remains an exotic and exciting destination. Numbers of visitors are growing every year.” Ward pointed out.
Total Indo-Irish bilateral trade for 2019 was Euro 1.2 bn. India’s exports to Ireland stood at Euro 636 mn and imports from Ireland at Euro 480 mn, according to an Indian government note. Main Items imported from India were machinery and mechanical appliances, telecommunications equipment, computer accessories, precision equipment and pharmaceuticals.
Main items exported from India were organic chemicals, textiles, garments & clothing accessories, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, machinery, light engineering goods, plastics and rubber.
Major Irish companies which have presence in India are CRH Taxback Group, Connolly Red Mills, Globoforce, Keventer, ICON, Kerry Group, Diageo, Glanbia. Major Indian companies which have presence in Ireland include Pinewood/Wockhardt, Reliance Genemedix, Crompton Greaves, Deepak Fasteners, Jain Irrigation Systems, Shapoorji Pallonji, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Wipro, TCS, Infosys and HCL. In the context of Brexit, Ireland can emerge as a strong partner for India on account of its distinct advantages (English speaking, common law, low corporate tax, skilled workforce).
Ireland has become a significant destination for Indian students seeking higher education, particularly post-graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral students in the areas of engineering, technology, medicine, and management. The Trinity College and Thapar University, Patiala have an MOU for joint degree programme in five engineering and science disciplines. New forms of S&T collaboration between India’s Dept of S&T and Science Foundation, Ireland are being explored. A short-duration ICCR Chair on Politics and International Affairs exists at the Dublin City University (DCU).
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