Drummers at the Diwali celebration event in Cardiff on November 8, 2023. (Picture: Raj Aggarwal)
WELSH first minister Mark Drakeford on Wednesday (8) night announced plans for a fresh Welsh and India economic initiative next year at the official Diwali event organised by the Indian government in Cardiff.
Speaking at the event at Glamorgan Cricket club in Pontcanna, the 69-year-old Labour politician revealed the details for the Year of Wales in India 2024 that aims to create even greater economic and cultural ties between the two nations.
The launch is due to take place in India around St David’s Day (March 1) in 2024 and other events are planned in a number of Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Drakeford was joined by Welsh health minister Baroness Eluned Morgan, economy minister Vaughan Gething, deputy Indian high commissioner to the UK Sujit Ghosh at the event which was organised by the honorary consul of India in Wales, Raj Aggarwal.
Hundreds of guests were also present at the event which witnessed exuberant festivities, with traditional Indian music, dance programmes and food.
Lauding the initiative at the event, Aggarwal said, “We are looking forward to organising several events in India next year to build even stronger links between our two nations. The main themes for these meetings will include trade and investment, education, culture and health. This is a great opportunity to consolidate our relationships to ensure greater cooperation in the coming years.
“I’m also glad to see Indian students here tonight who attend all the eight universities in Wales. There are currently over 2,200 Indian students studying for degrees at Welsh Universities and an increase of over 200 per cent since 2016, which brings in around £200m of revenue to our educational establishments. I myself was a graduate of Cardiff University and I owe so much to the education I received in this country.”
The event was also attended by several representatives from major Indian companies in Wales, as well as some Indian start-ups.