External Affairs minister S Jaishankar has said that India is seen today as a strong economy and a country which contributes to solving the world's problems. Addressing the Indian diaspora in Cyprus on Friday, Jaishankar said there is a lot of expectations of the world from India. Today, "India is seen as a strong economy, as a country which contributes to solving the problems" being faced by the world.
"We are seen as a country which is independent, and has the courage to stand up when it has to stand up. We have the ability to get people around the table at one time," he said. Jaishankar, who was on the last leg of his first official visit to Cyprus, said India will handle the G20 Presidency in a way to make the world understand and appreciate the diversity of the country even more.
India formally assumed the G20 Presidency on December 1. The minister stressed how Indians living abroad and visiting the country after a gap of three-four years are going to see a "changed" India. "Covid had been a tough experience.
We have not just dealt with Covid but come out of the pandemic with a better health system, better delivery system, better social-digital delivery, with a safety net, whether its financial or food support," he said. "That era in India where people were left to look after themselves is today behind us and people living abroad must appreciate and understand that change," he underlined. Jaishankar said India did economic reforms in various sectors.
The big reforms included cleaning the banking system, changing credit policy, support to the service sector, small and medium-scale business, labour reforms, and education reforms. Jaishankar said from the time the Narendra Modi government came to power (in 2014), it has made it very clear that "Indians abroad have been a great source of strength to the motherland". In the last seven or eight years, wherever Indians in the world were in difficulty, the Indian government was there for their help, the minister stressed.
"This has been a complete transformation as to how embassies and high commissions do think about Indian citizens abroad. What was earlier an effort or exceptional has today become a system," he said. "I want to tell you that today going around the world, I am not just representing a stronger country, a bigger economy, an influential polity, but also a nation that cares for its citizen, that will do whatever it has to do to protect them, which will look at their interest when they live abroad, prepared to take up their interests in difficult circumstances.
"It's essential to maintain and grow your credibility as a country that counts in the international order. I hope all of you share this optimism about India," Jaishankar added.