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Foreign Policy Playing a Much Larger Role in Indian Elections: S Jaishankar
Jun 06, 2019

According to Dr. S Jaishankar, Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs, Government of India, India’s foreign policy is playing a much larger role in India’s elections. According to him, a large majority of people have now realized that India’s standing in the world has gone up. He mentioned that the elections were a vote of confidence in the management of national security. In addition to this, a large part of India’s economy has been externalized and there is a need for India’s Foreign Policy and the diplomatic machinery to help Indian companies gain better access to overseas markets. The Minister was addressing The Growth Net Summit 7.0 which is being organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Ananta Centre and Smadja & Smadja in New Delhi today.

The Minister called for greater integration between Government departments to create a better focus on the economic issues being faced by Indian companies especially in overseas markets. Dr. Jaishankar was of the view that the world was a lot more interdependent today than ever before. There is much greater interest from overseas countries and companies to access the Indian market. It is for this reason that there is a need for the government to respond to various issues in a coordinated manner.

While highlighting India’s relationship with its immediate neighbourhood, Dr. Jaishankar stated that India’s priority was to focus on platforms which work. BIMSTEC is one such platform. It is witnessing a great deal of positive energy and mindset and it was decided to leverage that and invite the leaders of BIMSTEC nations to the Swearing-In ceremony of the recently elected NDA Government.

Dr. Jaishankar stated that the changes that the world was witnessing were very sharp and discontinuous. He highlighted three trends that were being witnessed in the world. These included the fact that globalization was under stress especially in terms of market access and mobility of labour. Second was the growth of nationalism, which was being validated electorally across the globe and the third was the global rebalancing that was taking place, especially with the rise of China.

He pointed out that some of the changes were contradictory in nature. For example, while some nations were increasing tariffs, others were focused on improving connectivity. In addition, there has been a rise in bilateral FTAs in light of the fact that the WTO system was not working. He was of the view that India needed to find ways to fix architecture such as the WTO and make it more effective.

Other panelists at the session included Mr. Harshavardhan Neotia, Chairman, Steering Committee, The Growth Net Summit and Chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group, India, Mr. Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co Ltd and Chairman, Ananta Centre, India and Mr.Claude Smadja, Chairman, Smadja & Smadja Strategic Advisory, Switzerland.

New Delhi

June 6, 2019

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