Jaishankar says India needs to fashion appropriate diplomacy to tackle issues of digitized world

New Delhi, India Published: Mar 02, 2020, 01:13 PM(IST)

External Affair Minister S Jaishankar. Photograph:( ANI )

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In the last many years, the world trading system has felt the pressure of gains that some accrued from structural advantages.

India needs to fashion appropriate diplomacy to tackle issues of a digitised world, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said here on Monday, adding that there will be the additional challenge for the country to create new partnerships and foster greater mobility to service a knowledge economy.

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"Navigating the economic world will be no less complex than the political one. Here too, nations will strive to optimise outcomes and bridge divides as they pursue their national objectives," the minister said while addressing the Centre for Policy Research's (CPR) annual public forum here.

Jaishankar told the forum that economic challenges offer even less ground for complacency. In the last many years, the world trading system has felt the pressure of gains that some accrued from structural advantages.

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"At a stage, it had to turn political; it finally did. But today, this argument extends beyond to non-trade domains like connectivity projects, technology choices, data protection, and security as well as IPR adherence. All of them have strategic connotations and to pretend otherwise is only to delude ourselves. In fact, for that very reason we have started a Technology Division in MEA," he said.

The implications of the change in American posture on international commitments cannot be overstated, given that this was a key element of the post-1945 order. That other major powers have not moved beyond their national objectives indicates that the resulting deficit will remain unfilled.

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For its part, India has stood out as a country willing to do much more, even with its limited though growing resources. But the problem remains for the world in the foreseeable future, the External Affairs Minister said.

He also stated that the world has a growing interest in India becoming an additional engine of growth, adding that it is amenable to harnessing the reservoir of talent that India could provide with the passage of time.

"Our strong commitment to realising Sustainable Development Goals is deeply appreciated, including for its global significance. Whether it is in terms of technology, best practices or resources, there is a proclivity to partner with a nation whose prospects are clearly so assured. Our economic engagement with the world also requires careful deliberation and effective preparation lest we end up eroding our own capacities. How to do that best in this emerging geopolitical landscape is a complex exercise that deserves serious strategising," he said.

Therefore, the last few years have demonstrated a growing Indian capacity to contribute to the global discourse and make a difference to international outcomes, Jaishankar stressed.

After a generation of extolling the virtues of globalisation, the External Affairs Minister noted that India, today, is a part of a fractured world with polarised debates.

Not only has the landscape become more difficult but the very articulation of interests has come under challenge, he said."Competition is not just amongst states but often within them, reflecting the tension between the older order and the emerging one. When ideologies, identities and history mix with business, politics, and strategy, it can create a very potent cocktail," he added.

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