Monday 15 August 2022 will see India celebrate its 76th Independence Day, a national holiday in the country commemorating its independence from the United Kingdom (UK) on 15 August 1947.
On this date in 1947, the provisions of the Indian Independence Act came into effect, thus transferring legislative sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly.
Note that whilst 2022 marks the 76th India Independence Day, it is actually the occasion to celebrate 75 years of Indian independence, with the nation commemorating “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”, a government initiative aimed at celebrating the past 75 years as well as the history of the nation’s people, culture and achievements.
According to Luxembourg’s National Registry of Natural Persons, there were 4,610 Indian nationals (including dual or multiple nationality holders) residing in the Grand Duchy as of 30 June 2022. Indian nationals in Luxembourg are represented by Santosh Jha, Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union (EU), whilst Luxembourg nationals in India are represented by Peggy Frantzen, Ambassador of Luxembourg to India. India and Luxembourg will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2023.
Chronicle.lu recently reached out to Ambassador Santosh Jha for his message on the occasion of India’s Independence Day: “The high level of commitment of the leadership on both sides, stronger business interest in both India and Luxembourg and the support of the vibrant and growing Indian diaspora has meant that the India-Luxembourg relationship has grown exponentially in the last two years. This enhanced pace and intensive interaction augurs well for the future of the relationship even as we celebrate 75 years of India’s independence” he stated.
Monday 15 August 2022 is a public holiday in Luxembourg (Asumption); here, the Indian community gets together for a game of cricket. The annual tradition is to play for the Lagaan Cup, with a game between the Optimists Cricket Club and the Indian Association Luxembourg asbl that will take place at the Pierre Werner Cricket Ground in Walferdange from 10:30. The event starts with a Flag Ceremony with the national anthems of both India and Luxembourg being played, followed by the cricket match. Spectators are welcome to participate during the flag ceremony and to watch the game. This has now been a tradition since 2005.
Members of the Indian diaspora and friends of India in Belgium and Luxembourg are also invited to join the 76th Independence Day celebrations at the Embassy of India in Brussels (Belgium) on Monday at 09:00. The event will also be telecast live on the embassy’s Facebook page.
Since the very first Summit in November 2020 (even in a Virtual format) between the two countries' Prime Ministers, India-Luxembourg ties have been further strengthened. The financial sector cooperation between both the countries has intensified. Bilateral agreements for enhanced cooperation in the financial and investment sectors have been signed. The following agreements were signed (in November 2020):
• MoU between India International Exchange and Luxembourg Stock Exchange
• MoU between State Bank of India and Luxembourg Stock Exchange
• MoU between Invest India and LuxInnovation
As announced during the Summit, Luxembourg joined the International Solar Alliance in February 2021. An MoU between SEBI and Luxembourg Regulator CSSF was signed in June 2021.
The 17th India-Belgium-Luxembourg-EU Joint Commission (India-BLEU JCM) was held on 16 September 2021 in virtual mode. Comprehensive discussions on a range of issues including bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation were held on the occasion.
The Summit also institutionalised the holding of regular bilateral consultations between the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg. The first Foreign Office Consultations between India and Luxembourg were held on 12 November 2021 in Luxembourg. An inter-regulatory cooperation agreement MoU between Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), Luxembourg and International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has been signed on 6 January 2022. An MoU between India and Luxembourg on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purpose has been signed in February 2022.
The MoU signed between India INX and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange in November 2020 provides issuers and investors an opportunity to list and trade green bonds on India INX platform “GSM Green” with opportunity to dual list with Luxembourg Stock Exchange. On 22 Nov 2021, SBI's green bonds worth USD 650 million and on 1 June 2022 another green bond worth €300 million issued by the Indian company Power Finance Corporation were dual listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
A Luxembourgish company – B Medical Systems with niche and state-of-art technology in the domain of cold chain vaccine refrigeration has set up manufacturing operations in Mumbai and Mundra to assist the fight against Covid 19 under the "Make in India" initiative.