External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar virtual addressing the CII Partnership Summit 2020 on 17 December 2020 | Youtube | Ministry of External Affairs
File photo of External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar | Ministry of External Affairs
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New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that Indo-Pacific region captures a mix of India’s broadening horizons, widening interests and globalised activities, and denying it is tantamount to refuting globalisation.

Addressing the CII Partnership Summit 2020, he said Indo-Pacific is not tomorrow’s forecast but yesterday’s reality “Many would agree with us, others could offer additional justification. Indo-Pacific, for some, can also be resource optimization in an enlarged arena. Or just a desire to contribute better to global challenges that now transcend old boundaries.

Many have also chosen in that process to reaffirm basic principles like rule of law. What is worth recognizing however is that analysis lags behind developments: as I have said before, Indo-Pacific is not tomorrow’s forecast but yesterday’s reality,” he said.

Jaishankar also opined that the active debate on Indo-Pacific should be treated as a recognition of reality. “Quite appropriately, much of it revolves around the ASEAN, whose East Asia Summit initiative has long had its own Indo-Pacific connotations,” he said.

Speaking on trade, the minister said that the Indo-Pacific is central to India’s exports and imports.

“We have a number of FTAs in place, but chose not to join the RCEP after weighing the pros and cons carefully. The focus today is in attracting more investments and technology partnerships as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat. The PLI schemes could make a big difference there, as indeed our continuous efforts at making it easier to do business,” he said.

The minister said that a safe, secure and stable maritime space is a necessary condition for peace, security and prosperity.

“Conversely, threats there imperil human security in all its dimensions, whether by disrupting commerce, disturbing the ecology, or creating disputes over ownership and rights. In our interdependent world, the complexity of such challenges has become too large for any one nation to address by itself,” he said.

He said India will also be exploring partnerships with other like-minded countries like Australia and Japan, and talked about India’s role in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and maritime security.

Also read: Anti-China forces behind infiltration theory, Indian missions take precautions with staff — MEA


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