Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today called for bringing about the much-needed reforms in international political, financial and business institutions to make them more representative of the ground realities.
Addressing the inaugural session of ‘Deccan Dialogue II – Economic Diplomacy in the Age of Disruptions’ at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, he said that India supports a rules-based multilateral order to tackle many common challenges such as climate change, technology divide, trade disputes, terrorism, connectivity and maritime threats.
Observing that India and other developing countries, when faced with issues of unilateralism and protectionism, had made a clarion call to reform the multilateral system so that developing countries have a greater say in global governance, he said: “what we need is reformed multilateralism to face the headwinds of protectionist tendencies”.
Stating that the 21st century was being hailed as the Asian century and India has a key role to play in promoting peace, security and development in Asia and beyond, the Vice President said enhanced regional connectivity, both physical and digital, can boost trade and play a pivotal role in bringing prosperity and development.
However, such initiatives to be successful and sustainable should be transparent, inclusive and respect the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, he added.
Vice President Naidu said that embracing new technologies was a necessity for developing countries to leap-frog into the 4th industrial revolution and to positively transform the lives of people. “For this to happen, we need to look at appropriate frameworks for international cooperation at the global and regional levels that can avoid the digital divide and ensure that the 4th industrial revolution is an inclusive one”, he stressed.
The Vice President also asserted that India stands for an open, secure, stable, accessible and non-discriminatory environment for ICT and digital technologies. India upholds the centrality of the United Nations in discussions on ICT-related security issues, he added.
Pointing out that the world was more connected than ever before in this era of globalization, Vice President Naidu said “the Global Village we have grown accustomed to is rapidly changing in unprecedented ways. This swiftly changing global geo-political and geo-economic landscape requires individual countries to come up with carefully strategized, dynamic and calibrated responses”.
Observing that the older patterns of trade and commerce were undergoing a paradigm shift and that the rules-based, anti-discriminatory and the all-inclusive multilateral trading system was facing an uncertain future, he cautioned that such a situation would benefit no country. “But it is the developing countries which are feeling left out from the processes of economic cooperation and have to suffer the maximum consequences from the fallout”, he added.
In the face of the ongoing transformations, the Vice President said it becomes all the more important that we support the efforts towards making global governance more representative by ensuring greater participation of emerging markets and developing countries in global decision-making.
He said that India was the world’s sixth-largest economy, contributing over 15% to the global economic growth, and was poised to contribute to the global economic strength for the next many decades.
The Vice President said that India was placing special focus on improving connectivity infrastructure with neighbouring countries both at the bilateral level and through regional forums like BIMSTEC and Indian Ocean Region (IOR) for expanding intra-regional trade.
Asserting that India would support all efforts to keep oceans open, secure and free for the benefit of all, he said that India’s vision of Indo-Pacific was also rooted in advocacy of SAGAR- Security and Growth for All in the Region.
The Vice President said that during his official visits to Africa, Asia and Latin America, he had personally witnessed the tremendous potential for stronger economic and investment ties with countries of the South. “There are many complementarities, which can be harnessed for mutual benefit”, he added.