The world, especially the Global South, perceives India as a credible, effective development partner with delivery on the ground, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said.
Diplomacy has helped in making the nation economically stronger creating conditions not just for more exports, bigger Foreign Direct Investment inflows and stronger technology collaborations, but also by contributing to softening of prices of oil and fertilisers,” Jaishankar said at a press conference on nine years of the Narendra Modi government.
The Minister said that foreign policy was was one of the areas which witnessed a significant transformation over the last nine years. “It is reflected in the country’s higher standing, greater influence, bigger footprint, newer concepts and stronger delivery,” he said.
The last few years have also underlined India’s credential as an independent force. “Ukraine is one example where we were clear from the very first on taking an independent stand. Not only about the conflict itself but on the various ramifications of the conflict,” Jaishankar said.
India was also the first G-20 President to actually make an effort to consult with other countries. “As many as 125 countries responded because they believe we are an independent voice. There can be no bigger endorsement of our standing…,” he added.
A large part of the world sees India as a development partner who lives up to what the PM enunciated as the Kampala principles of doing what the partner sees as priority, Jaishankar said.
“The second image of India today is that of an economic collaborator. Not just with the global south. But with the global economy. You can see that in terms of increased FDI flows and in terms of increased exports,” he said.
Alluding to the handling of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the Minister said that India’s diplomacy had also helped in softening the prices of oil and fertilizers in the country
“Had our diplomacy not done its work, it would have an impact on petrol pumps. It would have also affected the fertilizer costs which is one of our key imports. Working with our counterparts there, we have stabilised the market and reached long term agreements which benefit the country and benefit Indian farmers. Between fertilizers and oil costs, it has an impact on the inflation as well,” he said.
Citizens of the country have benefitted from greater mobility and opportunity abroad owing to the mobility agreements that India has entered into with countries such as Portugal, UK, Germany, Austria and Australia, the Minister pointed out.