The Indian Economic and Quiet Diplomatic Heft is Evident Globally!

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Indian Economic
  • It’s quite evident that the Indian economic heft, traction, visibility, and opportunities galore available on the back of demographic dividends are proving to be a winsome matter on the global platform. Why, we were made to believe even a couple of decades back that India is a poor nation but endowed with great opportunities to realize stated ambitions to be counted among the best in the world. Remember, we as a country are known for the pedigreed heritage, culture, tradition, and diversity in every sphere of life duly acknowledged by the global community. But were always viewed as a promising and developing country yet to see the fruition of intended growth at par with the other countries counted as most advanced and developed.

Indian Economic

PC: TOI

  • Thankfully, with the advent of the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance at the Centre, the diplomatic heft largely gained by the economic strength of the country has made several countries sit up and take notice. India is now considered as an aspirational country tipped to become the third-largest economy in the next few years. Of course, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gained such welcome recognition around the world that he is now counted as one of the most influential world leaders whose words carry tremendous weight. This was proved yet again when the eight Indian ex-navymen, initially sentenced to death in Qatar, are now free thanks in no small part to GOI’s behind-the-door talks and some deft diplomatic moves.
  • Procedurally, govt had appealed the case in Qatari courts. That had already led to death sentences being commuted to imprisonment of various durations. The heavyweight intervention came after Modi met Qatar’s Emir at the COP28 summit in Dubai. The ex-navymen were tried and sentenced in near total secrecy. No details were available, but speculation swirled they were charged with espionage while working with a private firm involved in a Qatari naval project. Israel was speculated to be the beneficiary. But none of this was confirmed by New Delhi or Doha. While Qatar certainly punches well above its weight, is a gas powerhouse, and possesses a global opinion shaper in Al Jazeera, it also hosts 8 lakh Indian nationals with over 60k Indian companies operating.

 Indian Economic

PC: The Hindu

  • Note that the bilateral trade stood at $15.03 billion in 2021-22 and Qatar accounts for 40% of India’s LNG imports. So GOI is not without leverage. Coincidentally, last week India inked a $78 billion deal to extend LNG imports from Qatar till 2048 at substantially lower rates. With India’s growing geopolitical stature and increasing involvement in West Asia – platforms such as I2U2 (India, Israel, US, UAE) – and New Delhi will have to navigate the region’s constantly changing dynamics. GOI needs to be nimble here. It pushed the right buttons with Doha this time – Modi is visiting soon but it needs to be cleverer – it has to manage Emirs and other powerful Sheikhs, sup with the Arab street, and keep Ayatollahs in Teheran in relatively good humor. Some tasks but expected from an aspirational society yearning to be counted among the best.