Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Tuesday emphasised on the need to be patient with US President Donald Trump.
“Don’t demonise Trump, analyse Trump… India may not be part of the problem but India will be affected by Trump’s policies,” Jaishankar said at the Gateway of India Geoeconomic Dialogue in Mumbai.
About the nternational community’s wariness of political changes and economic uncertainties following Trump’s election, he said, “There is a view on how to fix America and how to fix the world. It will have consequences for everyone, including us.”
Regarding Trump’s proposed overhaul of immigration policies and the H1-B visa, Jaishankar said that India needs to distinguish offshoring from outsourcing to engage with the US.
“We have to get the message across to the US that outsourcing helps you to be competent, offshoring damages the economy,” he said, adding that the key is “not to advance or retreat”.
Jaishankar said that there is concern in the international community that incidents of terrorism are being traced to Pakistan.
“In the neighbourhood, there is recognition that terror is product of them (Pakistan),” he said, adding: “Bilateral relations are necessarily security-centric. We can’t live with a situation of terrorism, but with little trade. The issue boils down to whether Pakistan is willing to make a fundamental break in its policy.”
He also urged member nations not to give up on the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC). “I won’t say that we have given up on SAARC. There are fundamental obstacles in proceeding down that path. SAARC today is stuck,” said Jaishankar.
Referring to the initiatives taken over the last two years in the Gulf region, Jaishankar said that India’s business ties with the gulf countries are very important.
“In the early 1990s when we opened up our economy, ASEA countries were our natural partners, whether it was in energy or business co-operation. Remittances received from 7 million Indians living in the Gulf countries are as much as India’s IT exports to the US,” he said.