Economic confidence visible in India: EAM S Jaishankar tells Indian community in Qatar

New Delhi: The external affairs minister S Jaishankar who is on a two-day Qatar visit told the Indian community that the economic impact of COVID-19 can be put behind us and the economic confidence is visible.

In a virtual meet, EAM Jaishankar said, “The general sense is the economy is coming back and coming back very very strongly. The feeling is Q1 and Q2 of this financial year was obviously extremely tough, the feeling is now, all the feedback we get in terms of the critical sectors of the economy have been very positive.”

He added, “There are areas, particularly the services sector, informal sector where recovery is not going to be so rapid. But again, there is economic confidence which is also visible, both the feeling that we can put the pandemic behind us as well as the economic consequences can be put behind us.”

India’s growth contracted to minus 23.9% in the first quarter of this financial year, and in the second quarter, it came out at minus 7.5% as the coronavirus crisis took a toll on the economy. 

India along with all major economies saw contraction due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The EAM said that India is ‘shifting gears’ via Atmanirbhar Bharat which is ‘an expression, a desire to build stronger capabilities at home so that our participation in global economic activities is more effective’.

He further stated, “One of the issues with COVID-19 has been that a lot of countries have been redoing supply chains, looking at on shoring many activities. Qatar is looking at its own near-term future, they have their own priorities, world cup football is significant among them and these are opportunities to draw the countries closer.”

Notably, Qatar hosts more than 7 lakh Indians with bilateral trade at $10.95 billion in FY 2019-20. 

This is EAM S Jaishankar’s first visit to West Asia amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Back in September, he made a stopover in Iran while going to Moscow and November saw a visit to UAE and Bahrain. 

The increased high-level engagements between India and West Asian capitals come even as both sides come closer in a number of areas from security to defence to people to people ties.

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