These days there are lunches, dinners and cocktails almost every day to bid farewell to the most visible, read and heard foreign Ambassador in India, Mr Jorge Heine of Chile, who is leaving on 31 July.
Amb Heine has given more lectures in universities, think tanks, chambers of commerce and published more articles in Indian newspapers than any other Ambassador in India. He has written and talked about latin america, politics,economics and globalisation.
He and his charming economist wife Norma have hosted so many parties and networked with many indian intellectuals, journalists and socialites.
During his time, there have been many visits between the two countries including ministers, chiefs of armed forces, businessmen and the high point was the visit of chilean President Ricardo Lagos in march 2005. Thanks to him, Chile has emerged as the largest source of India's imports from latin America. 1.7 billion dollars was India's imports from Chile in 2006 and is growing.
Ambassador Heine is going back to his first passion.. academics. He will become from 1 August, CIGI Professor of Global Governance at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. This will be a joint appointment with the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Canada' s premier think tank on international relations. He will be teaching in a PhD program in Global Governance, within the newly established Jim Balsillie School of International Affairs, that has been established with a US 100 million endowment, of which half has come from. Mr Balsillie, co-chairman of Research in Motion (RIM), the company that invented the Blackberry.
Hmm .. there is a coincidence here. I call him as the Blackberry Ambassador, because he would instantly reply to my mails from his blackberry from any part of the world.
Amb Heine is a multidimensional personality. He is a diplomat, academic, writer, consultant, election observer and he had also served as Minister in the Chilean government. He is the Vice-President of the International Political Science Association (IPSA). He was professor in Stanford and Heidelburg universities, besides Chilean and Puerto Rican universities. He has authored/ coauthored eight books on international affairs.
Amb Heine and I had a competition as to who would write more articles in Indian papers. While the competition in India will continue, he has overtaken me in the global stage. He has been writing and lecturing in all the continents of the world and has established a larger international network. He has been a source of inspiration to me in the last three years.
Adios Ambassador Jorge Heine...