MEA chalks out plan for international outreach; Two countries per minister to cover 68 countries

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Updated: September 10, 2016 10:54:18 AM

The Ministry of External Affairs has chalked out a plan in order to outreach to places where no political representative of the current government has gone till now.

sushma swaraj, Saudi arabia, food crisis“My private office is coordinating this plan, and it is requested that your private secretary notifies the suitable dates to my private secretary…,” Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has written to the ministers.

The Ministry of External Affairs has chalked out a plan in order to outreach to places where no political representative of the current government has gone till now. As per the strategy, each minister will be allotted a minimum of two countries that they have to visit by the year-end. Cabinet minister and Minister of State with Independent Charge will be delegated with this task. As per the list drawn by the External Affairs Ministry, 68 countries will be on this agenda.

The respective ministers have to share the suitable dates for their visits. “My private office is coordinating this plan, and it is requested that your private secretary notifies the suitable dates to my private secretary…,” Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has written to the ministers.

According to senior government official, countries have been allotted to the ministers based on the utilities of their portfolios. As per The Indian Express, one of the most senior ministers of the government will be heading to Hungary, while a minister handling a key infrastructure portfolio will be flying to Panama and Nicaragua. A minister with a technology-related portfolio will soon visit Estonia and Latvia while another minister involved with an economic portfolio is expected to visit Malta.

A senior official said, “Every minister keeps visiting US, England, China, Japan, Germany, etc but the Prime Minister wants that the ministers should also visit other nations for better international cooperation and understanding.”

Earlier in June, Swaraj had said that there will not be a single country with which India has not engaged by the end of 2016 and that the international outreach plan helped the country bring in assistance from countries such as the US, France, Germany, England and Australia for the Centre’s flagship programmed.

Stressing about the foreign direct investment (FDI) that could result from these visits, Swaraj said, “Foreign Direct Investment does not come sitting at home. As much as $55 billion or Rs 369,000 crore has come through the FDI route in the last two years. It is about a 43 per cent jump over what it was during the UPA rule.”

Of the over 190 countries in the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited 46 countries at least once, and as per the senior official, he wants his ministers to also contribute in improving foreign relations through their respective ministries.

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