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India must build `deep national strengths’ for transition: Jaishankar

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NEW DELHI: External affairs minister, S

Jaishankar

on Thursday emphasized the need for India to develop its “

deep national strengths

” over the next 25 years in order to become a developed economy and a leading global power.
Speaking at the 5th Asia Economic Dialogue, Jaishankar highlighted the dangers of relying on a limited number of suppliers, the challenges posed by technology, and the weaponization of market dominance.

He stressed that India’s goals and ambitions should not be dependent on the goodwill of others.
The conference, jointly organized by the ministry of external affairs and Pune International Centre, focused on the geo-economic challenges faced in the current era of flux.
“Even as importers, the production centres have built their own sourcing chains. How to introduce greater resilience and reliability is central to de-risking the global economy. All of us need more options and must work to create them,” he said. The technology challenge is growing by the day given our reliance on technology for more and more aspects of daily life, he said.

“The digital era has given it altogether different connotation because it is so intrusive. It is not just our interests that are at stake, but often the most personal of our decisions and choices. Such an era demands more trust and transparency, but in fact we are seeing the reverse where technology providers are concerned,” he said. “Over-concentrations” which stem from the nature of globalization are heightened by unpredictability and opaqueness, the minister said.
The minister also discussed the issue of over-concentration resulting from globalization, emphasizing the heightened unpredictability and opaqueness faced by countries, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We discovered this more sharply in the Covid times, but from time to time we’re also reminded when market dominance is weaponized for the global South and this is particularly serious given the extent of this dependence,” Jaishankar added. “We all know that this is indeed the era of AI, EVs, chips, green and clean technologies. What we are confronting is no longer a matter of comparative economic advantage, if it ever was. We are actually talking about the future of the global order,” he said, adding that there are no easy solutions to the challenges posed by this era. Only a greater international cooperation can mitigate unilateral demands and “economic domination of technology assertions”, the minister said.

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