As a result of a second wave of covid-19 infections, India is recovering from the debilitating effects on its people and economy and is poised to see strong economic growth, Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday.
At the Indo-Pacific Business Summit organized by the Indian foreign ministry and Confederation of Indian Industry, the Indian government sounded a confident note.
During his speech, the minister said that Asia’s third largest economy “will contribute to the global economy’s growth” and dismissed doubts about India’s economic recovery.
A more reliable and resilient supply chain is what the post-covid world requires, the minister said as part of a strong message to the business community in the Indo-Pacific region that stretches from the eastern shores of Africa to the west coast of the US.
In the face of aggressively rising China, the purpose of the business meet is to strengthen economic ties among countries in the region.
“The Indo-Pacific – a region in which we are so deeply invested historically – will be an arena of particular activity and energy,” he added at the event that saw ministerial participation from the US, Australia, France, Vietnam, Mauritius and the Maldives and who all identified India as a key country and economy in the Indo-Pacific region.
In addition to some of the steps taken by the government to speed up the post-pandemic recovery, Jaishankar said the rebuilding process included major economic reforms.
“Our programme of wider health coverage has been accelerated by the rapid expansion of our health infrastructure last year.” Currently, the focus is on mass vaccinations and dealing with the ongoing wave. The goal is to transform the sector completely by enhancing human resources, equipment, and capacity, according to the minister. There was possibly a reference to the announcement by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week, in which she announced a fresh allocation of Rs. 23,220 crore. This comes on top of the announcement by the finance minister in the annual budget that the government will spend Rs. 64,180 crore over the next six years to improve healthcare services available across primary to tertiary care facilities.
Digitalization, a skills initiative, and a start-up culture are all helping change the game,” Jaishankar said. “On infrastructure, a range of initiatives and reforms are already underway that will spur greater investment.”
The government had taken steps to empower farmers and enable freer trade as well as establish post-harvest infrastructure in the agriculture sector.
“Performance-linked initiatives are expected to elevate the manufacturing sector across 13 key sectors,” the minister said, referring to incentives tied to production announced last year.
The government has just taken bold measures to promote tourism,” he said, referring to Sitharaman’s announcement last week that visa fees will be waived for the first 500,000 tourists applying for tourist visas when inbound travel opens.
The framework envisions an India with deeper strengths, greater capacities, and greater responsibilities. “And not lastly, by making it easier for businesses to do business,” he said.