Dear friends, at the outset let me welcome you all to the green and scenic state of Kerala. I thank the Ambassador of Netherlands, Honourable Alphonsus Stoelinga, for extending this invitation to me to deliver the keynote address at the Oceans Conference 2017. I am humbled by your kind gesture.
May I also take this opportunity to thank The Kingdom of Netherlands and the Observer Research Foundation for bringing the deliberations on ‘Towards A Common Prosperity Framework’ to ‘God’s Own Country’. Kerala has time and again made it clear that our doors are open to all those who want to come here and conduct meaningful discussions and deliberations. We, the people of Kerala are gearing towards playing a significant role in the knowledge production that is driving growth and ensuring accessibility across the world. Particularly when we see that the space for free and fair expression is diminishing around us, we are opening our arms to the world, inviting you all to come and experience the liberty in vogue here and to relish the beauty of our glorious backwaters and mesmerising hills. (more…)