India takes opportunities & challenges of Indo-Pacific very seriously: EAM Jaishankar
India sees Indo-Pacific as a free, open, inclusive region, Jaishankar said
India takes the opportunities and challenges of the Indo-Pacific very seriously, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Friday.
"You can see that in the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative, or indeed in the vaccine collaboration undertaken through the Quad format. Our global endeavours like the International Solar Alliance or the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure also have a direct relevance for this region, he said.
He was addressing the 4th edition of the Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) which is jointly hosted by India & the United States.
According to Jaishankar, 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," he said.
He underlined that 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 noted.
"India believes that our common prosperity and security requires us to evolve, through dialogue, a common rules-based order for the region," he said.
Such an order, Jaishankar pointed out, 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.
Summing up the country's approach to the region, he said, "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".
"This is the second such event this year which reflects the importance accorded to the Indo-Pacific region, and the potential and opportunities that it offers," EAM Jaishankar said.
Referring to Covid-19, he said the experience of the pandemic had 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. Whether it is ‘Vocal for Local’ or ‘Make in India’, the thinking today in our country has focused on shorter supply chains and more decentralized globalization. The world needs additional engines of growth as well as the networking to support the democratization of the global economy," Jaishankar explained.
EAM Jaishankar referred to health security, digital delivery and green growth as the new priorities of the post-Covid world.
Pointing out that India was coming out of the Covid pandemic and was witnessing a strong economic recovery, Jaishankar said, "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".
International cooperation, especially among businesses, was a key to the better world, he said, adding that the Indo-Pacific would be "an arena of particular activity and energy".