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Speech by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj at the Opening...
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Speech by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj at the Opening Plenary of the Bhutan-India Start Up Summit on 29 February 2020 at Hotel Taj Tashi, Thimphu

I pose a riddle to you today: what is something that has remained undying? What is something that has been there since the beginning of civilisation? Something which has been the most infectious and definite root of progress?

What caused the first gears to turn? The first swords to be forged? What will make the first quantum computers run?

The answer to this question is why we are all here today: ideas. Nothing has made the world move faster, nothing has dared to break norms, push our boundaries, destroy us, save us, as ideas have. They are the single most valuable asset of man. The priceless crowns we were adorned with upon birth.

Thus, I am honoured today to welcome you all to the opening of the Bhutan-India Start-up Summit in Thimphu.

Honourable Minister Piyush Goyal,
Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering,
Lyonpo Loknath Sharma,
Honourable Lyonpos and Dashos,
Distinguished Members of Parliament from Bhutan,
Distinguished Captains of Industry from Bhutan and India,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Government of India, allow me to express my deepest gratitude to the Royal Government of Bhutan, which has so graciously supported us to make this day a reality.

I see this as a powerful symbol, among so many marks of support, and of the depth in our partnership.

Minister Piyush Goyal from India, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering, Lyonpo Loknath Sharma: we are indebted for your participation at this monumental summit.

This is indeed an important moment.

The Summit is above all an act of faith. Bhutan and India are two countries whose connection grows a lot deeper than the border we share. As Buddhism touched both our countries, as the Himalyas towered over us, we were destined to be connected. This friendship is beyond a simple diplomatic tie, but rather, a deeper knot, dating to the birth of our deities.

And so many years later, we stand together, inaugurating Business Summits and other wonderful collaborations to come. The involvement of top captains of industry from Bhutan and India speaks of the enthusiasm and commitment of business on both sides to grow this partnership.

The 21st century is undoubtedly quite an exceptionally intimidating and frightfully inspiring period. The sheer abundance is daunting, the innovation, unceasing. We find beautiful ways to exist, and equally treacherous paths to ruin. But this is life. As Carl Jung said: ‘No tree can grow to heaven, without its roots reaching down to hell’. And it always has been this way. And so the existential dread sets in and we wonder what our place is in this irresistibly chaotic realm….

Sometimes we will look up at the stars and wonder about this and lose ourselves and sense of direction in the infinite cosmos above us. Sometimes we’re going to feel so incredibly small. So breathtakingly frail, like a wisp of crystallised air on a cold evening. However, suddenly, it sets in: the profound comedy within all of this: that our insignificance in the universe, our fleeting breath of existence, is exactly what gives us meaning. And the very fact that we are a tiny race, on a tiny planet full of possibility is exactly what should empower us. And the very fact that we have the choice to create sensational innovation, and outnumber the treachery, is the beauty of the 21st century.

It is the choice we all make every morning: what shall I stand for today in the knowledge, that ‘today’ is merely a countdown.

This is a marvelous time to be a creator, I suggest we don’t waste it. Let’s have a wonderful Business Summit.

Thank You!
Tashi Delek!

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