India takes the opportunities and challenges of the Indo-Pacific very seriously: EAM Jaisankar
New Delhi: India takes the opportunities and challenges of the Indo-Pacific very seriously, which can be seen in its Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative, the Quad vaccine collaboration, and even in New Delhi’s global endeavours like the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure initiative, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Friday.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic has given a much sharper impetus to the world’s trend of moving towards greater economic diversification and political multi-polarity, in his address at the 4th Indo-Pacific Business Forum.
Jaishankar said the experience of the pandemic has broadened the understanding of national security for most societies. “It has taught us the importance of resilient and reliable supply chains, just as it has cautioned us against concentrated production.”
He said the thinking in India today has focused on shorter supply chains and more decentralized globalization, whether it be for ‘Vocal for Local’ or ‘Make in India’.
He stressed that the “world needs additional engines of growth as well as the networking to support the democratization of the global economy”, in an oblique reference to moving away from China which is known as the world’s factory.
The EAM said that as India is coming out of the Covid pandemic it is witnessing a strong economic recovery.
“We will continue to be a more dynamic and friendlier business destination. We will contribute to being an engine of growth for the global economy. And we will be very much a part of more reliable and resilient supply chains that the post-Covid world requires,” he added.
“International cooperation, especially among businesses, is a key to the better world that we all seek. The Indo-Pacific, a region in which we are so deeply invested historically, will be an arena of particular activity and energy. India looks forward to working together with all of you in the coming days to strengthen business linkages with this dynamic region,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, he said that the Indo-Pacific reflects the reality of globalization, the emergence of multi-polarity and the benefits of rebalancing.
“It underlines both our inter-dependence and inter-penetration. As we speak of common good and common efforts, it is natural that this is addressed, amongst other means, through a business forum.
“India sees Indo-Pacific as a free, open, inclusive region, which embraces all in a common pursuit of progress and prosperity. It includes all nations in this geography as also draws others beyond who have a stake in it,” he added.
“India believes that our common prosperity and security requires us to evolve, through dialogue, a common rules-based order for the region. Such an order must respect sovereignty and territorial integrity, international law, as well as equality of all nations. It envisages that countries should have access to the use of common spaces on sea and in the air that would require freedom of navigation and overflights, unimpeded commerce and peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law.
“India stands for a fair, open, balanced, rules-based and stable international trade regime in the region. India’s approach is based on cooperation and collaboration, given the need for shared responses to shared challenges in the region,” the EAM stressed.
(With UNI inputs)