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As India keeps out of RCEP, foreign minister Jaishankar bats for self-reliance

S Jaishankar speaking at Deccan Dialogue organised by ISB
S Jaishankar speaking at Deccan Dialogue organised by ISB

In the name of openness, India has allowed subsidised products and unfair production advantages from abroad to prevail, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said. At two virtual events held this week, he explained why India has chosen to stay away from the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which was signed on Sunday. Jaishankar articulated the NDA government's desire for self-reliance (Atmanirbhar Bharat) — reduced dependence on imports — in various sectors of the economy, including the Information Technology and Communications (ICT) sector, a field that has been dominated by China for many years. Speaking on Monday at Deccan Dialogue, a virtual event organised by the Indian School of Business (ISB), Jaishankar criticised India (read: previous government) for having determined success of the economy using the GDP growth rate. "We not only failed to develop the deep strengths that a…

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