"We see very difficult, turbulent times ahead": Indian EAM Jaishankar on global economy

World Friday 03/November/2023 06:21 AM
"We see very difficult, turbulent times ahead": Indian EAM Jaishankar on global economy

Rome: Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday characterised the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic followed by conflict in Ukraine on the global economy as "very traumatic" and predicted very "difficult and turbulent" times ahead.

He made the remarks at the Joint Secretary Session of the Senate's External Affairs and Defence Commission, Rome.

Addressing the session, Jaishankar said, "We see very frankly, very difficult times ahead, very turbulent times ahead...Over the past five years, the impact of COVID-19 has been deeply traumatic, not only on the global economy but also on societies. There are still many countries and many societies which have not recovered from it".

The External Affairs Minister highlighted that numerous countries are grappling with financial crises and debt issues, further exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

"We have seen, that progress in sustainable development goals, in many countries, has been rolled back, and many more countries today are facing, a financial economic crisis, and debt is a very big problem. Trade has been very challenging," Jaishankar said.

He also noted the global repercussions of the conflict in Ukraine, stating, "We have had the conflict in Ukraine...In a globalised world, it has affected every part of the world. Europe is of course the most affected part, but even further regions have seen energy problems, food problems, inflation, all of this in many places have directly driven by what has come out of the Ukraine conflict".

Jaishankar emphasised Italy's historical significance as one of India's oldest links to Europe and its substantial contributions in strengthening cooperation with the European Union.
"Italy is historically among our oldest links with Europe. In recent years, Italy has also played a very, made a very major contribution to strengthening, cooperation with the European Union, as a whole. We have been in the midst of negotiations since 2021 a set of agreements, the most important of which is a free trade agreement with the European Union, one on geographical indications, also on investment...these are complex negotiations," Jaishankar said.

He added, "We also have, last year, set up, a trade and technology council, with the European Union. The EU only has two of these councils, one with the United States and one with India...The fact that the EU, the US, and India are today coordinating and cooperating very closely on technology matters is something which is very, important to recognise".