Before Modi, people did not give much emphasis on manufacturing, says Jaishankar


Lok Sabha Elections 2024: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India must focus on manufacturing sector to compete with China. 

Manufacturing is a key sector which was ignored by governments before Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, he said at an event in Surat, Gujarat on Monday.  

“If we have to compete with China, which we should, then its solution is that we should focus on manufacturing here. Our approach towards manufacturing has changed after Modiji came to power. Before that, people did not give much emphasis on manufacturing,” Jaishankar said.

He added, there is no other way to counter China on the economic front. 

“If we talk of rising Bharat, it will rise through technology. You cannot build strong technology on weak manufacturing. At any cost, we should put special emphasis on manufacturing, because that is the only economic response,” external affairs minister said. 

Jaishankar, a former ambassador to China, emphasised that tension at the border has affected Sino-Indian ties.

“As you know, there is tension at the border (with China). And this has caused abnormality in our relations. For that our thinking is very clear that unless there is peace and stability at the border, the relations will remain in the same deteriorated condition,” he said. Asked about relationship with Pakistan which remains strained and New Delhi’s fight against terrorism sponsored from across the border, Jaishankar asserted India should never compromise on terrorism.

“For us to tolerate, justify (terrorism) — are all wrong. The only response to terrorism is counter-terrorism. And they should understand this to make it a deterrent,” he added.

India’s Global Standing

Given India’s leadership role, vision, stability, confidence and foreign investment figures, the world wants to collaborate with “us in our journey”, he said. 

“This is a very auspicious occasion for us to engage with the world in different ways in different spheres. This is the India of Chandrayaan and UPI, 5G stack and Covaxin which is respected by the world, and where the Modi government will ensure the safety of its people in any corner of the world. We have done this during the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ukraine, Sudan, and Israel,” he noted.

“I want to assure you that the world’s idea about India has changed a lot,” the former IFS officer added.

“Many countries want to enter into an FTA with India. Many of our negotiations are underway, but we believe we will only enter into such FTAs when benefits for us are clear and we are not hurt by opening doors for dumping,” the minister said.

Indian doctors and engineers are in great demand across the world, and the country wants to protect the interest of its people going abroad and ensure they are given equal treatment, he said.

“For this, we enter into a mobility agreement with different countries. In the last two years, we have entered into mobility agreements with Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Australia. For us opportunities exist even outside the country, and they can come in different forms,” Jaishankar said.

(With agency inputs)

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Published: 02 Apr 2024, 08:43 AM IST


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