External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday that the European Union, the Indo-Pacific, and India, in particular, require “regular, comprehensive, and candid” conversations that are not restricted to the current situation. He stated that the changes taking place in India demand the EU’s attention.
Addressing the EU-Indo Pacific Ministerial meeting in Stockholm, Jaishankar said, “From an Indian perspective, let me also flag the Indo-Pacific Oceans initiative that we proposed in 2019. The EU will be comfortable with its objectives and may consider partnering in one of its pillars. Keeping all this in mind, Indo-Pacific and India specifically, and the European Union, need a regular, comprehensive, and candid dialogue, not just limited to the crisis of the day.”
“Few Indian governments have invested as much energy and effort in engaging the European Union and its member states as the current one. I myself am headed here after to Brussels for the first meeting of our Trade and Technology Council,” he added.
In his address, Jaishankar stressed that the forum’s subject speaks of how much contemporary changes are gaining traction. He called on the leaders to consider six points, which include globalisation, Indo-Pacific and leveraging of market shares.
“The subject of the forum itself speaks of how much contemporary changes are gaining traction. Artificial lines that separated theaters due to the politics of the day are now coming to terms with a more integrated existence. They also reflect different capabilities, broader activities, and shared endeavours among the nations of the Indo-Pacific,” Jaishankar said.
“Let me make today six points for your consideration. One, globalization is the overwhelming reality of our times. However, far apart. Regions and nations cannot be impervious to significant events elsewhere, nor can we cherry-pick them to our convenience. The European Union has major stakes in Indo-Pacific developments, especially as they pertain to technology, connectivity, trade and finance. It has to in respect for an observance of…,” he added.
EAM Jaishankar stressed that agnosticism on such matters is no longer an option. He said that established thinking is being tested by the outcomes of the past two decades.
“Two, established thinking, whether on politics, economics or governance, is being tested by the outcomes of the last two decades. How to respond to non-market economics is proving to be a more formidable challenge than most of us expected. The compulsions of the immediate are often in contradiction with the concerns of the medium term. Therefore, conventional templates must give way to new thinking better suited to emerging realities,” Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar said also highlighted that Indo-Pacific is increasingly central to the direction of global politics. He stated that the recent events have demonstrated the problems with economic concentration. He said that the EU and the world is better off with additional drivers of production and growth.
He said, “Third, Indo-Pacific itself is increasingly central to the direction of global politics. Among the issues that it throws up are the problems inherent in the established model of globalization. Recent events have highlighted the problems with economic concentration as also the need for diversification. De-risking the global economy now involves both more reliable and resilient supply chains, as well as promoting trust and transparency in the digital domain. EU, and indeed the world is better off with additional drivers of production and growth.”
According to Jaishankar, the fourth factor to examine is the leveraging of market shares, manufacturing capacity, and resources, which is a problem that can no longer be ignored. He went on to say that connectivity and project funding cannot be accepted at face value.
He further said, “A strategically more aware Europe should not limit its consciousness geographically.”
In his remarks, Jaishankar called Indo-Pacific a “complex and differentiated landscape.” He emphasised that the EU and Indo-Pacific will become more strong if they deal more with each other.
“The Indo-Pacific is a complex and differentiated landscape that is best understood through more intensive engagement. A generous and strategic approach that caters to economic asymmetries will surely enhance EU’s appeal. The more European Union and Indo-Pacific deal with each other, the stronger will be their respective appreciation of multipolarity and remember, a multipolar world, which the EU prefers is feasible only by a multipolar Asia,” Jaishankar said.
“Fifth, in such an engagement with the Indo-Pacific, the EU will naturally seek like-minded partners. India is certainly among them. There may be historical and cultural divergences, but at the end of the day, we are political democracies, market economies, and pluralistic societies. Transformations underway in India, like digital public delivery or green growth Initiative, certainly merit EU’s attention. India is also rapidly expanding its global footprint and will intersect with that of the EU more in the coming years,” the EAM said.
He said that the agenda and impact of the Quad have steadily expanded, adding, “And sixth, any evaluation of the Indo-Pacific will naturally factor in the Quad as a platform for global good. The agenda and the impact of the Quad have steadily expanded. I would also highlight the Indo-Pacific economic framework (IPEF), and the maritime domain Awareness Initiatives as having potential significance.”