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MEA initiates 'Diplomacy Unplugged' with FICCI, spotlights human-centric globalisation 

India Narrative , Jan 14, 2021

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has initiated ‘Diplomacy Unplugged’ – a dialogue series in collaboration with FICCI and embassies of partnering nations to promote interactions between foreign embassies and Indian business leaders.

Under the series, MEA and FICCI will virtually interact with Diplomats and High Commissioners to better understand challenges the Indian industry faces in investing abroad and also address problems that foreign companies might face in India.

MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava tweeted: “Secretary (ER) gave the keynote address during the launch of ‘Diplomacy Unplugged’ series today. This is an initiative by FICCI for interactions between Heads of Missions in New Delhi and select group of Indian business leaders.”

Speaking at the first of the series on Wednesday, Rahul Chhabra, Secretary (Economic Relations), MEA, said the ministry has been working on development partnerships with various countries and is continuing its “human-centric globalisation and welfare program” with partnering countries.

Chhabra said: “We have been trying to finalise migration and mobility agreements. This pandemic threw up the issue of global shortage of trained manpower in various sectors that the MEA has taken note of. “We have also started getting the states involved in our outreach in terms of promoting exports and incoming foreign business delegation,” he added.

The MEA has enhanced the trade promotion budget along with promoting study in India in various countries. “The MEA has been providing funding for trade fairs and exhibitions and for a number of targeted initiatives to Indian missions across regions,” Chhabra said, adding that India has committed lines of credit of $6.5 billion, $700 million of grants and over 50,000 scholarships to African students.

Italian ambassador to India, Vincenzo de Luca, highlighted that despite coronavirus, the two nations are entering a new phase of relations after the successful virtual bilateral summit between the two Prime Ministers on November 5, 2020. He added: “We were able to finalise a number of agreements not only on government to government, but also with the private sector. This only goes on to show how the two countries want to transform their partnership to ideally benefit from their economic, innovations and technological complementarity. The two countries also share a global agenda.”

The Italian ambassador said that a new five-year plan of action has been decided to deepen cooperation in the domain of culture, innovation and technology with the Indian government. Despite the pandemic, bilateral trade has increased by 22 per cent.

Referring to a world halted by the coronavirus, FICCI President, Uday Shankar said: “The role of economic diplomacy assumes ever-increasing importance in the current scenario.” Highlighting economic and diplomatic opportunities between India and Italy, he added that Italy has taken over the presidency of the G-20 this year while India will do so in 2023, providing both nations to enhance their relationship.



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