World heading towards a new balance of power: External Affairs minister

S Jaishankar

The world is heading towards new balances of power and interests, which will manifest itself in a more multi-polar global architecture. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday.

Addressing the virtual Asian Leadership Conference 2020 on the theme "Emerging geopolitics and economic landscape in Asia, Jaishankar noted India's shared interest to work towards a multi-polar Asia, and said that with central Asia becoming part of the global economy the world will now get a "truly multi-polar world".

The conference was themed "Emerging geopolitics and economic landscape in Asia" and Jaishankar noted that in a world that was already under stress, the coronavirus pandemic has been "an additional and really serious complicating factor."

He said that many countries have expanded their definition of national security as a result. "Equally, there is a stronger sense of strategic autonomy with a greater emphasis on resilient supply chains," Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar noted that the theme of the conference was "not just indicative of our changing times but eminently appropriate, given the integral connection between geopolitics and economic shifts in our continent."

"Indeed, these two developments are reflected in two key phenomena that drive current global politics: globalization and rebalancing. Both have had their own consequences and reactions. But feeding on each other, they offer an explanation for much that is happening in our contemporary world," he said.

The minister said that we are heading towards new balances of power and interests is not in doubt. "Nor is the reality that this will manifest itself in a more multi-polar global architecture."

"Recent events suggest that the accompanying mindsets will put multilateralism under stress. Not all of us want that, though actions rather than words will speak for intentions. If the old order erodes and a new one has yet to emerge, we are probably headed for a long transition. It will be one characterized by convergences among powers and working arrangements to give that practical shape. Middle powers are likely to have a greater role and regional solutions perhaps more space to unfold. New concepts and mechanisms will co-exist with established ones, leading to more animated discussions amongst us all," he said.

Speaking on India's steps to tackle the economic situation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the EAM said that like the rest of the world India too is focussed on recovery and resilience.

"Our economic numbers for September and October have been encouraging and we are confident that they will only become better. However, we feel that this is also the moment to undertake ambitious reforms that would put us on a higher trajectory. Some of these have already unfolded in the domains of agriculture, labour, education and energy.

"Recognizing the importance of employment generation, the focus on ease of doing business has further increased. As a national strategy, we are aiming for aAtmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India), one that would expand its capabilities to make a greater contribution in the global economy. We want to make in India, and make for the world.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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