India: EAM Jaishankar bullish on India’s 7% growth despite Ukraine crisis

India has made tremendous efforts to develop its economy and become a higher income country, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said, expressing hope that it will be the fastest growing major economy in the world. this year with growth of at least 7% despite the challenges posed by the Ukrainian crisis.

Jaishankar arrived in Riyadh on Saturday for a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia to discuss ways to further strengthen relations between the two countries. This is his first visit to Saudi Arabia as foreign minister.

“I started my visit to Saudi Arabia by interacting with our community. I appreciated the contribution of our diaspora in dealing with national challenges. I spoke to them about the resilience of our country, especially in times of Covid and the ongoing national transformation in India,” Jaishankar tweeted.

Addressing the Indian community here on Saturday, Jaishankar said, “India is considering ways in which it can change its credit, banking, education and labor policy.”

He said India had made great efforts to develop its economy and become a higher income country.

“A lot of this has required vision, careful management of our fiscal resources,” he said.

“Many great reforms have taken place and we can see the result in two very interesting developments. In the year ending March 31, 2021, we recorded the highest exports we have ever had. Our exports total amounted to $670 billion.

Trade in goods stood at $400 billion, he said.

He pointed out that the world faces many challenges, such as rising food, oil and shipping prices due to the Ukraine crisis.

“But we are still very confident that India will be the fastest growing major economy in the world this year. We will achieve growth of at least 7%,” he said.

Jaishankar pointed out that the idea of ​​India as a trading power has become credible today.

He said India’s post-Covid economic recovery is worth studying. He said many countries spent a lot of money during the Covid period.

“I would say as a reflex…they were in a rush to respond to the crisis situation, so not all of them necessarily used their funds and resources wisely,” Jaishanakar said.

He said India had instead focused on creating a safety net. There was a program to give a free ration to 80 million people.

“No country in the world has done that,” he said. There is a program to give money to the bank account of 40 million people.

He also praised India’s efforts to deal with the Covid crisis. He said that at the start of the pandemic, India was not manufacturing masks and ventilators. He said people don’t know about PPE kits.

“We could not only manufacture what 1.3 billion people need, but we could also set up dedicated treatment centers for people with Covid,” the minister said. India has been able to produce Covid vaccines in large numbers.

“Vaccines made in India were available for 1.3 billion people,” he said.

“I go around and I see that people from several countries have not been vaccinated because they did not have any. Countries that had everything but people are still not vaccinated,” the minister said, adding that India was able to bridge this gap through continuous efforts.

Jaishankar also hailed the growing ties between India and Saudi Arabia. He said during the Covid crisis, “We saw our international friendships also deliver at that time.”

“Saudi Arabia was very helpful and provided oxygen. Two years of Covid is when the country was tested but we passed,” Jaishankar said.

Speaking on the key role that the Indian diaspora plays in the ties between the two countries, Jaishankar said: “In many ways, you all have shaped the image of India and what the Saudis think of it. India and who we are”.

“Knowingly or unknowingly, all of you, through your achievements, contributions, profession and friendships, have collectively built what the total Saudi perception of India is. For that, your country will always be grateful to you,” he said.

“One of our foreign policy priorities is to ensure that our people are well treated abroad,” he said.

Talking about the Vande Bharat mission to evacuate Indians stranded in various countries during the Covid crisis, Jaishankar said, “We brought back 70 million people under the Vande Bharat mission from all over the world. , it is the largest evacuation and was done during the Covid-19 pandemic.This is the India the world sees today.

During his interaction with the community, he spoke about the universalization of wellness and yoga.

“Spreading wellness and yoga, we would definitely encourage,” he said in response to a question.

He said that under the new education policy, India is striving to rapidly expand higher education.

On a question regarding the establishment of an Indian cultural center in Saudi Arabia, Jaishankar said he would take this concern into account.

Christi C. Elwood