He further noted there are three issues that the pandemic has brought to the fore the salience of health, the power of the digital, and the importance of building or re-building greener.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the 1st edition of the Indo-Pacific Business Summit, EAM said, “seamless and integrated space was disconnected decades ago” but as “many Indian Ocean economies trade further east and as Pacific ones too have displayed a presence south and westwards, we are quite sensibly seeing the landscape for what it really is”.
Indo-Pacific as a vision, whose geographical boundaries are from eastern shores of Africa to the western shores of Americas is backed by Delhi and Washington. The term is increasingly gaining currency in recent time, with many European, ASEAN and African countries backing it.
EAM explained the vision, saying “[it] means the overcoming of the Cold War and a rejection of bipolarity and dominance” and is an “expression of our collective interest in promoting global prosperity and securing the global commons.”
During the address he pointed out to the “salience of health” amid the Covid crisis, the “power of the digital”, urging “like minded countries must work together for data driven digital development partnerships” while highlighting “the importance of building or re-building greener”.
The Minister assured that “India is coming out of the second wave and will witness a strong economic recovery”. He expressed confidence, that the country will “contribute to being an engine of growth for the global economy” and “will be very much a part of more reliable and resilient supply chains that the post-Covid world requires”.
Pointing out that the compulsions of the Covid era have all made everyone much more digital, the Minister noted, “This may be literal in terms of contact tracing and vaccination registration; facilitative in terms of home delivery and virtual calls; or just a lifestyle, in case of Work From Home. New opportunities and efficiencies have been discovered in that process. And accordingly, the risks too have magnified.”
High-speed internet, cyber security, enhanced digital literacy, deeper technical cooperation, regional e-commerce, and efficient e-governance will have a more salient place in the conversations in the coming days, he said, adding, “The strengthening of digital connectivity both within and between the countries of the Indo-Pacific is an essential condition for our economic prosperity and development. Like minded countries must work together for data driven digital development partnerships. The templates of that could draw on the framework that govern existing development partnerships.”
The Covid may have slowed the building of the global economy and the promotion of economic recovery; it has obviously not stopped it. “India is coming out of the second wave and will witness a strong economic recovery. It will 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 emphasised.
The virtual meet saw participation of Maldives FM Abdulla Shahid, Australia FM Marise Payne, Mauritius’s FM Alan Ganoo, France’s Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade Franck Riester.