Indian High Commissioner Shiv Shankar Mukherjee has inaugurated a new India Visa Centre in Cardiff to boost trade and tourism links between Wales and New Delhi.
There was much demand for the visa centre in Wales to ensure speedier processing of applications. Earlier, applicants seeking visas in London would need to travel to the Indian consulate in Birmingham or the High Commission in London.
The centre has been set up following representations made to Mukherjee during his visit to Cardiff last year. The centre based in Sanqahar Street has been welcomed by several people in Wales with links with India.
Chairman of the centre, Keshav Singhal, said: "We are honoured the High Commissioner has taken such a positive step in response to a request we made during his visit to Cardiff in November last year.
"India and Wales have very strong and traditional ties with emphasis on hard work, family values and these can only get stronger with the visa centre being opened.
"Such a facility was desperately needed in Cardiff to facilitate and increase tourism and trading ties between our two nations."
There are also plans for the centre to hold a series of cultural events and Nehru lectures.
Speaking at the inauguration event, Mukerjee said: "It is important Wales and India continue to prosper. I was pleased to return to Cardiff having fulfilled a promise from last year.
"The Commission will continue our dialogue in Wales and we will build on the knowledge of each other's countries as we grow and move forward.
"This is part of making things happen."
Businessman Roy Thomas, who is the vice-president of the centre, said: "We are always impressed by the turnout and the great interest in Hindu culture. Delhi will be hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and a Welsh team will be part of that."