External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said India is “15 per cent of the solution” the G20 is looking for in terms of economic growth and development.
He was speaking at the Festival of Thinkers, an event organized by Symbiosis International University here.
The minister cited managing director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgievas statement that in “otherwise a fairly gloomy global economic scenario” Indias GDP base is growing at seven percent and is likely to increase in the coming decade.
“Kristalina Georgieva tells that 15 percent of the worlds growth this year is going to come from India, that means we are 15 percent of the solution that the G20 is looking for in terms of economic growth and development, but it isnt just growth, the G20 is actually looking at how we handled the COVID challenges,” said Jaishankar.
Indias G20 presidency began in December 2022.
The G20 countries have noted Indias success in effectively vaccinating its vast population against coronavirus, he said.
“Getting shots in the arms” looks very easy, but there are countries which struggled to get it done while the world has seen that India managed to vaccinate all eligible persons, Jaishankar said.
“For them, it is a staggering achievement, it is a staggering achievement with the smoothness and organization with which it was done,” he added.
Soon after COVID-19 became a global concern in January 2020, “there was a sense of the briefing to the G20 that if there is any place in the world (that) is going (to) go under because of COVID, it is India,” the minister said.
“A set of very serious people” who had studied global health concluded that Indias health system, governance and ability as society would not allow it to deal with the pandemic, and “three years later, we showed them to be so wrong,” he said.
Today the same people marvel at how India “managed society, how the country fed people during that period, how money was put in the bank account of people,” Jaishankar said.
Aadhaar has become “a magic number”, and is “actually the backbone on which the daily existence of hundreds of millions of people (hinges), he said.
“If the world today has expectations, the contribution of India, it is the economic contribution that is underpinned by enormous governance record, especially in digital delivery,” he said. Talking about Indias talent and capabilities, Jaishankar said initially the country was looked upon as the worlds backoffice, but today it is seen as “a society of innovations, start-ups, unicorns, manufacturing and designs.” Earlier Indians sought work outside the country, but now “countries come to India and say that they want to have an agreement to get the Indian capability and talent and they are ready to give Indians the same terms and conditions that they give to their own people,” he said.
“In last few years, many countries that have come to us are actually most insular and protected societies, which include Japan, Germany, Austria, UK, Denmark and Portugal. If I envisage the next decade, the demand for Indian talent and capability will be very big,” he said.
The single policy that shaped Indias image as a generous country was its vaccine diplomacy, the minister said.
He cited Jamaica Foreign Minister Kamina J Smith talking about how India helped her country get the vaccine.
India was also the first country to respond with medical aid during the recent earthquake in Turkiye, he said. Indias G20 presidency comes as a special responsibility at a challenging time for the world, he said, adding that the country is now a solution-provider for global problems.
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