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We Want To Get India Connected To Global Value Chains: Jaishankar

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Bengaluru: Hailing the BJP’s manifesto in Bengaluru on Monday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar highlighted India’s immense potential in the global value chains that foster an enabling environment for trade, investing in infrastructure, and nurturing a skilled workforce.

He said that while there is a commitment to “Surakshit Bharat” in the manifesto, on the economic side, there is a very strong record to show the country how exports are at a record high as well. He added that, despite all this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government would like to take it forward and get India connected to global value chains.

In a press conference on Monday, Jaishankar said, “There is, of course, in the manifesto, a commitment to “Surakshit Bharat,” but on the economic side, we have again a very strong record to show to the country that today our exports are at a record high, but we want to take it forward, we want to get India connected to global value chains. We want, as I said… we are very confident that in the coming years, we will emerge as the largest economy, which will also create many more employment possibilities.”

He also stated that a lot has been done by the Modi government to increase the scale of manufacturing in the country. “…there is a commitment to increase manufacturing. From the time our reform started… until Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, manufacturing was neglected. And today, we have done a lot to increase the scale of manufacturing in this country. And, we want to ensure that India becomes an electronic hub, it becomes a defence hub, it becomes a semiconductor hub and a space hub…manufacturing is something where we see a lot of possibilities, Jaishankar said, adding that “it is also something very very relevant to the youth of Karnataka.”

The EAM underlined that there is also a big segment in the manifesto about foreign relations, and added that in the current scenario, India is seen as a “Vishwa Bandhu.” “Today, we are seen as a Vishwa Bandhu. We executed the responsibility of G20 very well. On most major issues of the day, it is something on what we say, the positions we take, that makes an impact on the world,” Jaishankar said.

“Here, whether it is countering terrorism, or whether it is, today, safeguarding the borders, we are today, taking strong positions, and the posture of the PM Modi government has been very clear. We have new challenges coming up in terms of cyber, maritime, etc.,” he added. Jaishankar, as he went to speak, underlined that if today, “there is cross-border terrorism, there is a very strong reply back.”

Recalling the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Israel-Gaza, the EAM said, “Today, we have one conflict in Ukraine, one conflict in Israel-Gaza, and we are looking at tensions in the Red Sea area…in the Arabian Sea area. We are having challenges in the Indo-Pacific–a lot of challenges on the boundaries of different countries in Asia. We need somebody who has global understanding, who has global respect, and that is Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” Jaishankar underlined that ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’ is not only inside the country but also outside the country as well.

Referring to it, he said, “Whenever any Indian travels abroad, this guarantee Modi gives…I mean, they can take the travel insurance, but they get a free guarantee from Modi. The free guarantee from Modi is that whatever trouble you are in, we are there for you. We have shown it in Ukraine and Sudan, and we have shown it repeatedly during COVID.” Jaishankar also talked at length about ‘MSC Aries’ and how he raised the issue of 17 Indian nationals on board the vessel with his Iranian counterpart.

“Now these people were on a Portuguese flagship. The ship was taken over by Iranian forces. The ship was directed to… Yesterday I spoke to my Iranian counterpart and pressed him for the part, I told him there are 17 crew members from India. We are making a point to the Iranian government that these people should be released, and shouldn’t be detained. So, I understand…and after that, there have been some follow-up conversations between our embassy and Iranian authorities,” Jaishankar said.

“I am getting some reports, I want our embassy people to go there and meet these people, that will be my first point of satisfaction. Secondly, I would press for these people to come back to India as soon as possible. So, he was quite receptive and said, I will try doing something to help,” he said. In terms of national progress, Jaishankar said, “I think it is very important we have a government with a strong majority, which will continue to carry out reforms, which will take bold measures, which will think big, which will be able to meet the aspirations of the poorest persons through the yojanas, but also the aspirations of the youth.”

Notably, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy seized the Israel-linked MSC ARIES container ship near the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, The Times of Israel reported, citing an Iranian news agency. The MSC Aries was last seen on Friday, sailing towards the Strait of Hormuz off the coast of Dubai, according to The Times of Israel. The ship is currently sailing through the Persian Gulf, according to the ship-tracking site, Marine Traffic.

Tensions escalated between Iran and the West amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. Iran launched its first direct attack on Israel on Saturday night, launching a barrage of 300 attack drones and missiles from its territory towards the Jewish state, triggering air raid sirens throughout Israel on Sunday morning as the military tried to intercept the Iranian projectiles.

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