India's Economic Diplomacy

Editorial

While the rest of the global economies are slowing down, India seems to be an exception. Indian Economy is going through a momentous transformation. There has been a renewed focus and spotlight among domestic and global investors on the “Rising Star amongst the Asian Economies” with a new vigor propelled by recent positive tilts.

The first full budget submitted by the Narendra Modi-led government was received with a mix of hope and skepticism like it has been under any dispensation. When I say this, I mean, the reaction of the industry has almost remained the same. It was ironic to see the industry leaders react and respond with similar affirmative phrases that they had used earlier to comment on the previous budgets. Outlook India carried out an interesting article, analyzing those repetitive comments. While, the experts feel that the government was being a good doctor and administering the right medicine. The budget was a well-coordinated and concerted effort to lay out the institutional and structural changes that have been a long standing necessity of the Indian Economy. The economic architecture coupled with its governance paradigm, is that first step in ensuring that the transformation of India happens both on social and economic fronts.

The Government’s resolve to take up technological assistance to curb leakages and corruption and ensure welfare of the citizens is a bold move. The budget shows that those at the helm of it did gauge the sentiments of the surging nation that is striving to be at the pinnacle of the global economic order. While the government has assured a better taxation regime, it has broadened the tax base and reduced the corporate tax burden. The idea that, “The rich must bear the brunt of a mixed economy” or “The poor must suffer at their own costs” is a forgone concept in the emerging world order. This budget proves a very valid development in contemporary economics, that a government can table a budget that is neither pro-rich or pro-poor but pro-country.

The daunting task of addressing the issue of black money—for the first time, bringing India on to the list of nations like Singapore, UK and the US— and the acceptance of 14th Finance Commission Report (Increasing the States’ share of Union taxes) coupled with the steps to create a cashless economy and the comprehensive  social security schemes, not just help stop corrode the institutions of democracy, government and the independence of institutions of governance but is also a head-on positive step towards creating a transparent corporate-government and Centre-State relationship. This is a “game-changing” budget also for a prime reason- the voluntary devolution of economic power to the States. Though, there’s a lot for this government to do, show and prove, yet the budget sets benchmarks, and further hope for change, growth and ultimately the grit to transform this rising nation.

Economic Diplomacy has been one of the strengths of our country. The External Affairs Ministry and the Finance Ministry have both rightly recognized the importance and role of ‘economic diplomacy’ in the transformation of India. I wish Mrs. Sushma Swaraj and Mr. Arun Jaitley the respective ministers in their endeavour towards a cogent attempt to contribute to the growth, development and prosperity of this nation. And to all our dear readers, I humbly present this special issue on India’s Economic Diplomacy.

 

India's Economic Diplomacy


India’s Economic Diplomacy: A Positive Approach
Anil Kamboj

India is presently known as one of the most important players in the global economic landscape. Its trade policies, government reforms and inherent strengths in the economy have attributed to its standing as one of the most sought after destinations for foreign investments in the world. Also, technological and infrastructural developments which are being carried out throughout the country augur well for the trade and economic sector in the years to come. Also, the 'Make in India' initiative undertaken by the Government of India is likely to bring about positive economic reforms into the country as well as encourage more domestic investments in the next few years. We must remember if India’s economy is strong then the Indian Government has more space to manoeuvre its economic diplomacy to its advantage.

 

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Development Partnership: 'Soft Power' of India's Economic Diplomacy
Dr. Arunoday Bajpai

India needs to address various challenges to make her development partnership more effective. If India's development partnership has to work as 'soft power' instrument of India's economic diplomacy, it has to be motivated by the spirit of sharing, equal partnership, mutual benefit, and India's entitled national interest. 

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India’s Economic Diplomacy: Realty vs. Rhetoric- The Ways Ahead
Dr. Pradip Kumar Parida

Let us learn from history. Let us try to stabilize our economy, in spite of appearance of small ripples. The domestic economic sector should be strengthened an all areas. We should be able to provide to all people of our country basic minimum requirements of food, clothing, shelter, primary education, health care, housing, safe drinking water supply etc.  Let us try to utilize the huge potentialities of vast human resources, untapped in our country.  These resources - human, natural, socio-cultural, capital will be the factors accelerating the progress in economic sphere in future times. The stability of domestic economy of our country will be a strong factor for proper economic diplomacy with other countries of the globe as it is expected. Knowledge economy matters a lot in contemporary time. Let us try to capture the untapped potentialities of our knowledge economy and on that basis, let us build up the basic principles of our economic diplomacy and marching ahead. This is the crying need of the hour.

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India’s Economic Diplomacy
Dr. Deepak Yadav

The story of India's economic diplomacy has barely begun. For generations of Indians, the begging bowl has been an important symbol of Indian diplomacy. It is refreshing to see New Delhi now offer large credit lines across the world and help others make progress. To derive the full political benefits of economic diplomacy, the leadership will have to act decisively to break the old mind-set, which defines national security and trade policy in separate and narrow terms. If the Government can bring together the disparate strands of its economic diplomacy and give it bureaucratic coherence and political purpose, India would dramatically enhance its standing in the region and beyond in the coming years.

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Economic Diplomacy-The Making and Un-making of India
Dipavali Sen

On the global scene, India has recently been playing tactics of Economic Diplomacy. A statecraft, Economic Diplomacy is an attempt to arrive at some agreement between nations that was not coming about by itself. It involves negotiation and tries to prevent any violent conflict like war. It is extra-market, and  takes the countries concerned beyond market equilibrium solutions indicated by mainstream economic theory. This article points out that it is in contrast, if not in contradiction, with prevalent theories on foreign trade. In 2004 the Association of Indian Diplomats had traced it to countries of Europe but this article emphasizes that economic diplomacy was practiced in India itself in epic as well as mediaeval times.

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New Multilateralism and Regionalism: India’s Economic Diplomacy –The Changing Contours
Dr. Asim K. Karmakar

Over the last two decades and more, the world has had witnessed rapid expansion of global trade and reduction in tariff rates both through the multilateral arrangements under the WTO as well as various types of trade cooperation agreements including RTAs. And India as an emerging giant and an efficient economic diplomat meanwhile placed itself as a key player in expanding world trade as well as reducing the tariff rates that so far distorted the world affairs. Eventually she is increasingly becoming a harsh critic of developed countries which still are resorting to the use of non-tariff measures (NTMs) to protect their domestic home and industry.

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India’s Economic Diplomacy under the NDA-II Government: Japan in Focus
Dr. Mohor Chakraborty

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi’s selection of Japan as the first port of call (31 August – 3 September 2014) outside the immediate neighbourhood has opened new vistas of cooperation and greater engagement between the two regional economic powers. Going by the plethora of Agreements signed and negotiations undertaken by the leaders of the two countries towards the intensification of bilateral economic engagement, the visit has indeed generated momentum in the trajectory of Indo-Japan ties. In particular, the convergence of the economic policies initiated by Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, namely “Modinomics” and “Abenomics” respectively, has affirmed New Delhi’s broader and stronger partnership with Tokyo for economic development, especially in the infrastructure sector. Given this cooperative premise, in the backdrop of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), that is operational between India and Japan since 2011, the manner in which the newly-installed Government in New Delhi steers its vehicle of economic diplomacy towards ‘Destination Japan’ gains import and hold much promise for future. 

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India’s Economic Diplomacy in the 21st Century
Dr. Monish Tourangbam and Ms. Caron Natasha Tauro

More than any other dimension of India’s foreign policy, India’s economic dynamism is spawning debates and deliberations regarding the trajectory of India’s rise as a regional power and a global power of some reckoning. The election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ‘Make in India’ campaign and the emphasis given to economic ties with the major powers, have elevated economic diplomacy as the cornerstone of India’s foreign policy. Economic diplomacy, like all other forms of state apparatus, is intended to promote India’s national interest. And, the new government under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership has laid out a competent blueprint of a rejuvenated economic diplomacy. Only time will tell if the blueprint is effectively implemented, concretizing India’s growth trajectory in the comity of nations.  

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India’s Economic Growth: Potential and Future Perspective
Dr. Jagdish P. Verma

India is to a certain extent often in the reports of global political analysts and media specialists as the next possible superpower on a global level. India has significant political influence in South Asia due to its position as a regional economic giant, a large country with a billion people, a stable military and a rich cultural heritage spanning thousands of years into the past. Yet it takes much more than that to stand up to, or alongside a superpower. A nation needs to be a global military might, backing by a strong economy and political influence to be a superpower. On this note, it would be interesting to look into the realities and evaluate India’s position on the global economic scale.

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Economic Diplomacy: Key to Most of the Unresolved Global Issues
Nitin Jain

The serenity of global peace and development can only be roped in via the unflinching commitment towards the positives of Economic Diplomacy and on the contrary the global governance should check and mitigate the concerns and devils of Economic diplomacy.  

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Factors in India’s Economic Diplomacy in Nepal
Dr. Praveen Kumar

The writings on the subject of Economic Diplomacy (ED) in the Indian context can be treated in two contrasting, but interrelated aspects through the history. One, India’s economic approach to the historical world order since Independence till the period of economic liberalisation, which coincided with the end of the Cold War. In this period India was largely being seen as one of the developing countries leaders advocating post-colonial just and equitable world order.

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Economic Dimension of Indo-US Cooperation in Unconventional SECURITY AREA: A Case Study of Health Security Issues
Dr. Shantesh Kumar Singh

The public health security has been a prime concern in India since independence. It has been related to food security, child and maternal health, malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhea, influenza etc in the beginning. All such problems have accompanied the biggest menace of the recent times for humankind, the HIV/AIDS.

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Neighbourhood focus for India’s diplomacy
N Chandra Mohan

India is making a determined bid to secure its sphere of influence in South Asia and Indian Ocean to counter the growing role of China in the region. This is the biggest challenge on the economic diplomacy front for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, rightly, believes that having a good neighbourhood is a universal aspiration. Nowhere is this more evident than in South Asia, which has more the half the world’s poor and one-fourths of its population.

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Economic Stimulation and Diplomacy
Manish Sharma

The global economy is oscillating at 2.5% growth which is susceptible to recession and extraordinary steps are needed to salvage the growing trend and to use diplomacy for further growth. Numerous uncertainties accumulated in the past are posing action for revival with realistic approach based on identified data. India is on the threshold of bigger growth strategy but at the same time emerging economies will have to realize that simply showing fast growth will not put the world economy on normal track.

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India’s Economic Diplomacy with U.S. under PM Narendra Modi
Dr. Rajesh Kumar

The two largest democracies of the World, India and the United States of America climbed few notches higher in reinforcing their bilateral relations after the U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to India as Chief Guest on January 26, 2015 Republic Day Parade. The visit became important as several bilateral agreements got signed which are likely to give a boost to Modi Government’s flagship programme ‘Make in India’.

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Look West Policy: Potential and Challenges
Dr. Vivek Kumar Srivastava

India needs   to explore new avenues for increasing the economic focus in the region. It is possible only by developing a clear and comprehensive region focused economic policy. This can be realized only if the present government takes a new view. Indian economic foreign policy is in new phase and Look West Policy may yield more benefits. Hence economic interests need to be satisfied with the region with well organized policy framework.

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Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and India’s Regional Economic Diplomacy towards the East
Chandra Kamal Borah

Economic Integration of BIMSTEC has immense potentiality; in opposite to SAARC’s alienated stand, BIMSTEC is seems to be more inclusive and inter regional in nature. Two of its member states, Myanmar and Thailand are the members of ASEAN. So, it may work as a bridging link between the regional groupings. Intra regional trades among the SAARC countries are too low, primarily because of the absence of specific directions to move on.

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India’s Economic Diplomacy in the Context of Central Asia
Madan Yadav

Central Asia emerges as the new centre of Great Game in the 21st century after collapse of the erstwhile Soviet Union because of its enviable strategic location and most importantly, its abundant natural and energy resources. India still faces geographic constraints to significant cooperation with Central Asian states. Central Asia has become the geo-political and geo-economic hotspots for the great powers.

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Post Economic Liberalization Scenario in India: A Blueprint for Booming
Rasmita Sahoo

In a nutshell, within the constraints of democratic politics and the relatively ‘soft’ nature of the economic reforms implemented since 1991 or post liberalization, the Indian economy has reaped several welcome rewards from its reforms. These have strengthened the assurance that the broad direction of the reforms is right and, in that sense, made the reform process irreparable. Indian economy scenario pre and post 1991 has a poles apart,infact there is a huge dichotomy can be seen literally.

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India’s Border Trade with Myanmar: An Analysis
Saheli Bose

Even though India has been taking initiatives to reach Myanmar but still efforts are called for. India not only needs to negotiate with Myanmar on serious issues like insurgency, drug trafficking and increasing formal trade but also need to manage its  own internal issue like development and security of the  Northeast region, arranging for speedy trade negotiations and building proper business environment to capitalize each other’s potentials.

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