NEW DELHI: External affairs minister
on Monday spoke about the importance of having a strong foreign policy, saying that in its absence prices of petrol would be much higher.
“Without a good foreign policy, the petrol price would be much higher, the cooking oil price would be much higher, the price of next iPhone you buy would be much higher,”
said during his interaction with the students of NIT Delhi,
Speaking about India-Russia relations amid the Ukraine war, the Union minister said that government wants to ensure that the interests of the Indians are best servied.
“Russia’s main economic partner was the Western countries, after the Ukraine conflict that way was closed. Russia is turning towards Asia … Our trade before the Ukraine conflict was around $12-14 billion, our trade last year was $40 billion. The Asian economy is becoming partners… I think we should not be worried about what they are doing with other countries, we should keep our own relations going…The interest of the Indian people best served…”
During his interaction, Jaishankar advised the students to understand local and global developments.
“Globalisation has broken down the boundaries between inside and outside and you should understand what is happening around you,” he said citing the impacts of the Covid pandemic and Ukraine war on the prices of petroleum products and food grains.
No nation can become developed without embracing technology and research and development, the minister said.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several changes have taken place in the last nine years, he said.
Citing Modi’s recent visit to the US, Jaishankar said, “He has a different image, especially in the democratic world as a senior experienced and credible leader.”
The ideas and decisions of Modi have an impact, he said.
“In his foreign visits, Modi represents the strength and talent of 149 crore Indians. The world is now looking towards India and its youth,” Jaishankar said.
The external affairs minister also highlighted the Modi government’s initiatives to make India a hub of semiconductor manufacturing and set up a national research foundation.
(With inputs from agencies)