Cassian Baliarsingh

In today's scenario, foreign policy and India's identity in the world is a major subject. When you visit a polling booth and press a button, its impact will not only be on Assembly, Parliament, and India but also across the world, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at a programme in Cuttack on Sunday.

Jaishankar is on a two-day visit to Odisha and met the intellectuals in Cuttack today.

While addressing the intellectuals' meet in Cuttack on the topic, ' Vishwa Bandhu Bharat', Jaishankar said, "It is a term used to refer to a country which has relevance and the world realises its contribution. The entire world believes that such a country will extend a helping hand and has maximum friends with minimum problems."

According to Jaishankar, if we look at today's India and the reasons why we are liked and respected, we will find that a lot of countries are keen to invest in India and share technology and include in the global supply chain.

The External Affairs Minister further said today India's FDI inflow is at record level and companies like Apple and others are coming here. 

When a country is Vishwa Bandhu, the country gets an opportunity as the world is keen to share its resources including technology and other aspects, he said.

"Vishwa Bandhu takes everybody together and when this policy becomes diplomacy, it is beneficial. When the world says Vishwa Bandhu, it is a country and it is also an individual. In the last 10 years, the PM Narendra Modi government has laid a strong foundation for the country, and on the basis of it the next 25 years' journey towards the goal Viksit Bharat can be achieved. Vishwa Bandhu is important for Vikisit Bharat in order to achieve the goal and use the benefit of partnership with the world," said Jaishankar.

Sharing more details on the connection between Vishwa Bandhu and Viksit Bharat, Jaishankar said, "Today there is a lot of scope to make the world a workplace owing to the dearth of human resources and extend benefits to our citizens.  Though a lot of countries are keen to team up with India, connectivity issues since partition persist as we fell short of creating new ones post-Independence.  It is a challenge before us."

Citing examples, Jaishankar said that three main projects are in the pipeline including creating connectivity from India to Europe via UAE which is known as India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor. The second one is the International North-South Corridor via Iran and Russia. Similarly, another route is to reach Vietnam and the Indo-Pacific via Odisha coastline and North East region.

"For connectivity, countries need to come together and contribute. But the main factor is trust. Hence, Vishwa Bandhu image comes to the rescue. Today, countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, Singapore, Vietnam, and others want to work and partner with India. A country that can deal with and establish partnerships with different countries for its national interests is called a Vishwa Bandhu. A Vishwa Bandhu does 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas' on a global level," he added.