Tag Archive: First Minister

Welsh First Minister gets dancing with the dandiya

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FUN: First Minister Carwyn Jones joins in the Diwali Celebrations with the Dandiya Raas Dancers

FUN: First Minister Carwyn Jones joins in the Diwali Celebrations with the Dandiya Raas Dancers


Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones really got into the spirit of Diwali celebrations in Cardiff and even joined in with the dancers at the event.

The 50-year-old Labour politician took to the stage to join in with the Dandiya Raas Dance Group that had performed at the event on Monday 16th October to celebrate the high point of the Hindu spiritual year.

The event at the Wales Millennium Centre which was organised by Indian diplomat Raj Aggarwal was a sell out and there were over 300 people in attendance for the night of traditional Indian music and dancing.

There was also a performance by Welsh actress Vicki Bebb, who is playing the lead in Tiger Bay The Musical which is set to open in November at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Honorary Consul to India in Wales Raj Aggarwal said: "It was fantastic to see the First Minister getting involved in the dancing to celebrate Diwali, it was such an amazing event and everyone had a great night."

During speeches at the event Raj Aggarwal announced a new trade deal for small and medium sized (SME) businesses in Wales which has just been implemented by the Indian government.

The Access India pilot scheme is looking for technology firms to manufacture and trade in India and will provide assistance in setting up including cutting through regional and national red-tape, and introducing them to business networks so they can flourish quickly.

Mr Aggarwal said “This programme set out by the High Commissioner Mr Sinha will provide small and medium sized businesses with a free and complete road-map for investment, ranging from legal, taxation, accounting and ministerial advice for companies wishing to take the plunge to trade and work in India.

“Crucially it will allow Welsh companies to bypass EU restrictions by making it easy to trade without a formal Free Trade Agreement. “

Previously the expense of setting up in India with start-up costs, bureaucratic red-tape and initial lack of contacts have prohibited many Welsh firms from setting up satellites there but now the Indian government has now announced this assistance package to help get them started.

Mr Aggarwal added: “India is the fastest growing economy in the world today, and also shares a business language with us, and is a free-market democracy. And they play cricket!

“Welsh companies have a natural advantage over international competitors but we must act now to capitalise on this, and the Access India programme should further help them get a foothold there.”


First Minister of Scotland will fly to Belgium to discuss EU future

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REMAIN: Nicola Sturgeon wants her country to stay put in the European Union

REMAIN: Nicola Sturgeon wants her country to stay put in the European Union

Brussels bound

The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Stugeon, revealed her objective was to not follow Westminster’s lead as Britain breaks from the bloc, stating she wants her country to remain in the Union.

She will travel to Brussels on 29th June to discuss the options for her country.

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has said the meeting will not take place.

Sturgeon was set to meet European Parliament President, Martin Schulz, to press for continued inclusion with the EU for her country, which largely voted to remain during the June 23rd referendum.

Sturgeon will also set up a panel of financial, legal and diplomatic experts to advise her on her options of staying in Brussels.

The panel could include political grandees and former political foes like Jack McConnell and Jim Wallace.

But if Scotland gets the knockback from the EU – which traditionally demands members are fully independent – the country will be headed for a second referendum.

The First Minister addressed the Scottish Parliament in an emergency debate following the UK's vote to leave the European Union, where she revealed she is seeking a mandate to defend Scotland's interests.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Scotland spoke clearly for Remain and I am determined that Scotland's voice will be heard."I want to be clear to parliament that whilst I believe that independence is the best option for Scotland - I don't think that will come as a surprise to anyone - it is not my starting point in these discussions.

“My starting point is to protect our relationship with the EU...During the independence referendum, we were told that staying in the UK meant we could benefit from having guaranteed access to the EU - that was a driving factor in many people's votes. That is no longer true.”

Following the Brexit vote, former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt tweeted on Friday: “It’s wrong that Scotland might be taken out of EU, when it voted to stay.

“Happy to discuss with Nicola Sturgeon next time she’s in Brussels.”

Opposition leaders said they would work with Sturgeon to keep Scotland in Europe.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said: “Leaving the EU is already sending shockwaves through the economy. As an internationalist and pro-European, I will do everything I can to find a way through this.

“I will not be a pawn in a new campaign for independence. However, I was given a guarantee from the First Minister that this was not the case and that she genuinely wanted this process to succeed.”