India has not shut the door on RCEP: Jaishankar

India has not shut the door on RCEP: Jaishankar

Agency News

New Delhi, Jan 15 : India's way of looking at things globally would now be more as a 'decider and shaper' and not as an 'abstainer', External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said here on Wednesday and he also made it clear that India has not closed its doors on trade pacts like RCEP.

"....I would pick issues like climate change and connectivity and these are the issues, India has made differences in the last few years," Dr Jaishankar said at the Raisina Dialogue interactive session here.

"India owes it to itself and to the world to be a just power, a fair power and a standard bearer," he said. India has also become a "prisoner of its past image,'' he maintained and went onto say- "We have to get over it".

"There was a time when we spoke more than what we did. It is changing now," the minister emphasised adding in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, India has delivered in terms of railway and infrastructure projects. With regard the RCEP, he said - "it has to be evaluated on its merits and gains. The bottom line at Bangkok was the offers on the table did not match up to what we thought were our bottom line requirements.

We have not closed the doors on it. The fact was that there was a gap". "The ball is thus in the court of the countries concerned....," he remarked. Answering a question, Dr Jaishankar also said - "...the image of being reluctant and shying away holds true any more".

"I think, one particular domain is illustrative of this....Look at Indian Ocean region, today India has 16 agreements and it has given naval equipment and ships to eight Indian Ocean neighbours....It has extended defence line of credit close to 2 Billion dollars to 11 countries," he pointed out adding India also has military training teams in 11 countries. (UNI)