The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will be holding a three-day conference focused on geoeconomics during the coming weekend, which will have India’s Foreign Minister S Jaishankar among speakers, the organisers said on Monday. The conference, being held along with the think-tank Pune International Centre, will also see senior representatives from the governments of Australia, Japan, Mauritius, Maldives and Bhutan speaking, they said.
It can be noted that the conference comes amid frosty ties between India and northern neighbor China and attempts are on to reach agreements to contested border lines which became ugly last year resulting in face-offs at icy heights.
Retired diplomat Gautam Bambawale, who has served as Indian Ambassador to China till 2018 and is also the event convenor, told reporters that the event has representation from across the world and will steer clear of politics. Answering a specific question about China, he said a Vice President from Asian Development Bank who is a Chinese national, and an official from the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are also speaking at the event.
Others who will be speaking or moderating include former RBI Governor Urjit Patel, industrialists Kumarmangalam Birla, Rajiv Bajaj and Naushad Forbes, Foreign Secretary H V Shringla and Indian Ambassador to WTO Brajendra Navnit, and Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan, the organisers said.
Bambawale said the conference is not India-focused and its objective is on how countries can work together along with multilateral institutions to tackle the pandemic-induced economic slowdown