(Akhil Ramesh is a Non-Resident Vasey Fellow at Pacific Forum, USA. This column first appeared in The Quint on August 12, 2021)
- Over the course of the 20th century and well into the 21st, great powers of the world have used aid, trade and commerce, also known as the tools of economic statecraft, to maintain their footing on the global stage, and, in some cases, to even ascend to the status of a great power. As India aspires to become a $5-trillion economy and earn a seat at the table with global powers such as the US, China and Japan, the rationale for narrowing the divide between industrial and foreign policymaking is even more pronounced. The past few years have driven home the urgency to take on a more offensive foreign policy approach, over a defensive one. China’s encirclement with debt-infused infrastructure projects in India’s neighbourhood, its border incursions in the North, the unprecedented destruction unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the abrupt American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan have necessitated a forward-looking approach to foreign policymaking.