Pandemic is stoking protectionism, says ex-foreign secretary

Compiled by: Our Bureau

(Our Bureau, May 24) The world economy will slow down and most countries are going to adopt a protectionist approach at the end of the pandemic, said Shivshankar Menon, former national security adviser and ex-foreign secretary. It is still early to comment on how India will emerge after the pandemic, but it would be best not to focus on just image management, he said. “The best way is to handle our problems competently, that will be the beginning (of recovery). But if you are going to do image management, I’m sorry,” Menon said in an interview with The Indian Express. On India’s bid to gain the “viswa guru” status, Menon said it was necessary to focus more on securing a better and safer life for the people than trying to gain some kind of international status. “The world is much more realistic. The world measures your material power, hard power, your economy, your military strength, and your ability to run your own affairs well,” said the author of the book “India and Asian Geopolitics”.  In his book, Menon advocates for increasing India’s engagement with the rest of the world, particularly Asia.

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