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India has come out of COVID-19 challenge quite strongly: Jaishankar at Raisina@Sydney

Sydney: India has overcome challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic "quite strongly," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday at the Raisina@Sydney Bussiness Breakfast. 

Jaishankar was addressing the audience at Raisina@Sydney Bussiness Breakfast on Saturday, and said, "During the COVID period, we responded using financially sustainable measures. In fact, a lot of reforms were carried out under the pandemic stress. There was a lot of creativity which also was implemented on the field at large scale, because of the COVID pressures."

"In many ways, I think such decisions may have otherwise taken us much longer, ramping up our health and resources we devoted among others. I think decision on a lot of these issues were fast-forwarded," he said. 

Raisina@Sydney Bussiness Breakfast is being organized by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and India's Observer Research Foundation (ORF) at the InterContinental Hotel in Sydney. 

Jaishankar also said that the impact of COVID has been devastating on the world economy, and added, "Perhaps we in India and Australia feel it much less." 

"Perhaps we in India and Australia feel it much less as someone who travels a fair amount to other parts of the world when we look at Africa and Central America and some other parts of Asia in my own neighborhood. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal," he said. 

Earlier at the Raisina@Sydney Bussiness Breakfast, Jaishankar spoke about the economic growth and said that India is targeting seven per cent growth in the economy this year and we expect it to cross it in the next five years. 

"We are targeting 7 per cent growth this year, but we expect it to improve in the next five years. And definitely, we would stay in the 7-9 per cent range at least for a decade and a half," Jaishankar said at the Raisina@Sydney Business Breakfast. 

"And you can today see the same reflected in the investment climate, both in the flow of FDI, FII as well as in the investments which the government itself is leading the capital outlay in this year's budget," he added.

Taking about the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) singed between India and Australia on April 2, 2022 and came into force on December 29, 2022, Jaishankar said that the ECTA has a "good impact on trade". 

"Encouraging greater investments should be the focus, especially during CEO Forum meets or the Prime Minister and Trade Ministers visit," he suggested. 

Jaishankar also spoke about migration mobility and said, "We've seen a very substantial movement of Indian talent to Australia. We have roughly about a million students staying in here." 

"We would welcome Australian universities to India. For us, it's not just about Indian students coming to Australia but it's also about Australia and India working together to produce skilled, competitive talent in India for the entire world," he added. (ANI)

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