Diplomacy turns its focus on facilitating business transactions, says Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi, Dec.18 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday said that much of the Indian diplomacy focus has shifted to its economic dimensions, especially in facilitating business interactions adding that government can be significantly strengthened through international collaboration.

Swaraj also said the NDA government has fashioned its foreign policy to address the aspirations of the people who brought it to power at the Centre 18 months ago.

“Since many of the flagship programmes of the Government can be significantly strengthened through international collaboration, much of the diplomacy focus has shifted to its economic dimensions, especially in facilitating business interactions. Spreading the message of ‘easier to do business’ is one of our major goals, so is the involvement of CEOs in this effort. The results are already beginning to make themselves felt,” Swaraj said while addressing at FICCI’s 88th Annual General Meeting here.

Swaraj said that there has been a marked increase in FDI commitments in the last year, estimated at 40% more than the previous year.

“The ‘Make in India’ programme has started to gain increasing traction, the latest vote of confidence coming in the 12 billion dollars commitment made by Japan during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit. Our ‘Skill India’ endeavour has found experienced and responsive partners, ranging from Germany to Singapore. The international response to the ‘Digital India’ campaign was particularly visible when Prime Minister visited California. The interest in ‘Smart Cities’ has also been very strong,” the Minister said.

Speaking on the Ganga rejuvenation programme, Swaraj said the government has offered best practices and effective technologies.

“What you are all seeing today is India’s diplomatic skills at work in the service of the economy and society: delivering more jobs, ensuring better skills and accessing modern technology. The welfare of those who have gone abroad in search of a living has emerged as a particular priority in these difficult times,” she added.

Swaraj said that there is no doubt that India’s international profile has been significantly enhanced in the last 18 months.

“Our views on key international issues – be it on trade, climate change, terrorism or maritime security – are also being given greater consideration,” she pointed out. The overall image of India that we have managed to project, even in a short while, is of a country that is serious about meeting its commitments and responsibilities. This has made us a more credible player at international events, as you would have noticed in Paris recently. And the shift from ‘Look East’ to ‘Act East’ is also intended to underline that issues of connectivity, trade and security are being addressed more purposefully today. But equally, the projection of India as a civilization that enriches global culture, has also been much stronger,” she said.(ANI)

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