Minister Shahid shares perspectives on India’s Development Cooperation during the Asia Economic Dialogue

28 February 2021

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid participated in a virtual panel discussion entitled “Perspectives on India’s International Development Cooperation” at the Asia Economic Dialogue today. Minister Shahid was joined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bhutan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mauritius, and Secretary (Economic Relations) at the Ministry of External Affairs. The Former Foreign Secretary of India Vijay Gokhale chaired the session.

Speaking at the session Minister Shahid highlighted the experiences of the Government of Maldives with India’s development assistance, since taking office in November 2018. He characterised India’s support towards large-scale infrastructure development as exemplary - demand-driven, transparent, and in line with national laws. He also spoke about the small scale, high impact projects that are making enormous impacts at the local community level.

Minister Shahid also spoke about the leadership role that India plays and has to play in ensuring peace in the Indian Ocean Region, highlighting India’s “Neighborhood First’ policy, and “SAGAR” policy in this context. The Minister further spoke about the Maldives expectations of India in leading climate change negotiations, or through multilateral initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, or through leading by example.

The Asia Economic Dialogue is the flagship geo-economics conference of the Ministry of External Affairs of India. The Asia Economic Dialogue 2021 is jointly convened by the Ministry of External Affairs and Pune International Centre. This is the fifth edition of the Asia Economic Dialogue, and the second session organised by Pune International Centre.

The main theme of the panel discussion centered on the new directions in India’s Foreign Policy under Prime Minister Modi’s Government and the political and economic dimensions of the ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy adopted by the current Indian Government.