"If Supply Chains Disrupted, Whole World Suffers": S Jaishankar To NDTV

B20 is the official dialogue forum of G20 to engage with the global business community.

New Delhi:

The key issue facing the B20 grouping is supply chain, especially after the Covid pandemic showed how issues in supply chain can disrupt economies, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar told NDTV in an exclusive interview.

B20 is the official dialogue forum of G20 to engage with the global business community.

"The key issue before B20 is the supply chain. Manufacturing is over-concentrated. The pandemic proved that a situation like this can disrupt economies," Dr Jaishankar said.

He said there is a need to focus on ways to democratise the global supply chain and how to encourage green growth through sustainability. The minister added that it was critical to plug the gaps in investment flow, digital equity and gender issues. "If G20 doesn't raise these issues, who will?" he asked.

The External Affairs Minister said the world will come to India "because it has capacity and capability".

"Obviously, there will be geopolitics in play. But it is important for us to find ways of growing manufacturing in this country. Because this is a pro-employment policy. There is a big opportunity for us: the world wants more supply chains, and it wants to see transparency," he said, adding that India should not be seen as "China+1". 

The massive impact of the pandemic and the Ukraine conflict on global supply chain had resulted in steep rise in the prices of essential commodities across the world.

Against this backdrop, India is pushing hard to emerge as a global manufacturing hub and an alternative to China.

In the B20 summit in Delhi Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined India's role in building an efficient and trusted global supply chain.

In his keynote address at the closing session of the Summit, the Prime Minister recalled how India supplied vaccines beyond the borders and emerged as the 'Pharmacy of the World' during the pandemic.

"When the world needed medicines during the Covid pandemic, India, as the 'Pharmacy of the World', provided life-saving drugs to more than 150 countries. When the world needed a Covid drug, India enhanced production of its own vaccines to save the precious lives of millions across the globe," he said.

The Prime Minister pitched for a sustainable approach to business and said global businesses should understand that sustainability itself is an opportunity and a business model.