Jaishankar (left) in Stockholm with his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi (center) and Swedish host Tobias Billstrom
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said that European Union, Indo-Pacific and India specifically need “regular, comprehensive and candid” talks which he stressed are not just limited to the crisis of the day. He said that transformations underway in India will merit the EU’s attention.
Addressing the EU-Indo Pacific Ministerial meeting in Stockholm, Jaishankar said, “From an Indian perspective, let me also flag the Indo-Pacific Oceans initiative that we proposed in 2019. The EU will be comfortable with its objectives and may consider partnering in one of its pillars. Keeping all this in mind, Indo-Pacific and India specifically, and the European Union, need a regular, comprehensive, and candid dialogue, not just limited to the crisis of the day.” “Few Indian governments have invested as much energy and effort in engaging the European Union and its member states as the current one. I myself am headed here after to Brussels for the first meeting of our Trade and Technology Council,” he added.
EU – Indo Pacific Ministerial meeting in Stockholm, Sweden
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) May 13, 2023
In his address, Jaishankar stressed that the forum’s subject speaks of how much contemporary changes are gaining traction. He called on the leaders to consider six points, which include globalisation, Indo-Pacific and leveraging of market shares.
“The subject of the forum itself speaks of how much contemporary changes are gaining traction. Artificial lines that separated theatres due to the politics of the day are now coming to terms with a more integrated existence. They also reflect different capabilities, broader activities, and shared endeavours among the nations of the Indo-Pacific,” Jaishankar said.
“Let me make today six points for your consideration. One, globalization is the overwhelming reality of our times. However, far apart. Regions and nations cannot be impervious to significant events elsewhere, nor can we cherry-pick them to our convenience. The European Union has major stakes in Indo-Pacific developments, especially as they pertain to technology, connectivity, trade and finance. It has to in respect for an observance of…,” he added.
EAM Jaishankar stressed that agnosticism on such matters is no longer an option. He said that established thinking is being tested by the outcomes of the past two decades.
“Two, established thinking, whether on politics, economics or governance, is being tested by the outcomes of the last two decades. How to respond to non-market economics is proving to be a more formidable challenge than most of us expected. The compulsions of the immediate are often in contradiction with the concerns of the medium term. Therefore, conventional templates must give way to new thinking better suited to emerging realities,” Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar said also highlighted that Indo-Pacific is increasingly central to the direction of global politics. He stated that the recent events have demonstrated the problems with economic concentration. He said that the EU and the world is better off with additional drivers of production and growth.
He said, “Third, Indo-Pacific itself is increasingly central to the direction of global politics. Among the issues that it throws up are the problems inherent in the established model of globalization. Recent events have highlighted the problems with economic concentration as also the need for diversification. De-risking the global economy now involves both more reliable and resilient supply chains, as well as promoting trust and transparency in the digital domain. EU, and indeed the world is better off with additional drivers of production and growth.”
Explaining the fourth point for consideration, Jaishankar said the leveraging of market shares, production capacities and resources is an issue that can no longer be overlooked. He further said that connectivity and project financing can no longer be taken at face value.
He further said, “A strategically more aware Europe should not limit its consciousness geographically.”
In his remarks, Jaishankar called Indo-Pacific a “complex and differentiated landscape.” He emphasised that the EU and Indo-Pacific will become more strong if they deal more with each other.
“The Indo-Pacific is a complex and differentiated landscape that is best understood through more intensive engagement. A generous and strategic approach that caters to economic asymmetries will surely enhance EU’s appeal. The more European Union and Indo-Pacific deal with each other, the stronger will be their respective appreciation of multipolarity and remember, a multipolar world, which the EU prefers is feasible only by a multipolar Asia,” Jaishankar said.
“Fifth, in such an engagement with the Indo-Pacific, the EU will naturally seek like-minded partners. India is certainly among them. There may be historical and cultural divergences, but at the end of the day, we are political democracies, market economies, and pluralistic societies. Transformations underway in India, like digital public delivery or green growth Initiative, certainly merit EU’s attention. India is also rapidly expanding its global footprint and will intersect with that of the EU more in the coming years,” the EAM said.
He said that the agenda and impact of the Quad have steadily expanded, adding, “And sixth, any evaluation of the Indo-Pacific will naturally factor in the Quad as a platform for global good. The agenda and the impact of the Quad have steadily expanded. I would also highlight the Indo-Pacific economic framework (IPEF), and the maritime domain Awareness Initiatives as having potential significance.”
Earlier in the day, Jaishankar arrived in Sweden for a three-day visit to participate in the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial. Jaishankar met his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billstrom and Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi in Sweden. He met with his Indonesian counterpart partner Retno Marsudi and Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan at the EU-Indo-Pacific Ministerial.
He tweeted, “Good to meet host FM of Sweden @TobiasBillstrom. And of course, Quad partner Yoshimasa Hayashi, Foreign Minister of Japan.”
In another tweet, he stated, “Good to catch up with my Indonesian counterpart and G20 troika partner, Retno Marsudi.”
Sharing details of meeting Singaporean Foreign Minister, Jaishankar, in a tweet, wrote, “Nice to see FM of Singapore @VivianBala at the EU-Indo-Pacific Ministerial.”He tweeted, “Foreign Ministers representing G20, EU, ASEAN, AU and G7 gather in Stockholm today.”
Also Read: EAM Dr. S Jaishankar Calls For European Union’s Engagement In Indo-Pacific, Welcomes EU’s Global Gateway