NEW DELHI: India needs to find its sweet spot in relations with global powers in a changed world where trade, investment and movement of people across borders are less free and may have a link to military relations between nations, said Jayant Sinha, who chairs the Parliamentary standing committee on finance.
Sinha said India has to tread carefully in its relations with other countries for optimum benefit from trade and investments without giving the other party an unfair advantage. India needs to operate successfully in trade, capital flows, movement of people across borders and technology standards in order to build comprehensive national power, Sinha said late on Friday at a webinar on globalisation in a world after covid-19.
Both China and the United States have strategically operated on these areas to build national strength for themselves. “It (finding the sweet spot) has to be done very carefully. We cannot get too close as it creates too much leverage for the other party. We cannot get too far apart either as we won’t find common ground. We have to find a distance that optimises the relationship,” said Sinha.
Sinha, who had served as the minister of state for finance and civil aviation in the previous term of the Narendra Modi administration, is currently chairing the Parliamentary panel that scrutinises key economic policies and Bills of the government. His comments about striking the right balance in bilateral relations comes at a time India and China are engaged in a border dispute in Ladakh and the US has temporarily suspended certain work visas for foreigners, impacting Indian professionals.
Sinha explained that China’s investments in India gives it a leverage to influence India in other areas. “That is what China has been doing by investing in many of our unicorns and our start-ups by bringing in foreign direct investments into India. That gives (China) a leverage in your trade discussions. And of course, the fifth area is national security. Military and trade relations are also interlinked. You have to play carefully to be at the sweet spot with your partners,” he said.
Sinha’s comments were in response to a question from EY India’s national tax leader Sudhir Kapadia on how India should go about on its equations with various global and regional groupings of nations in the post-covid world. He said it is an important for India to decide on which ‘gated community’ of nations it should be in.