“PV’s look east policy helped build new friendship”
China and India have followed engagement policies towards each other with varying degrees of implementation and success.
As a result, the bilateral trade between the two countries increased substantially from 200 million dollar in 1990s to 72 billion dollars in 2015, observed Prof Srikanth Kondapalli of JNU here on Wednesday.
He was delivering the sixth PV Narasimha Rao Memorial Lecture at Kakatiya University here. The former Prime Minister embarked on the most difficult but long lasting economic liberalisation programme.
Foreign exchange crisis
He had to initiate polices from import substitutions to abolition of Licence Raj and emphasise on exports given the foreign exchange crisis and other economic ills afflicting Indian economy.
His economic reforms transformed the situation with foreign exchange increasing from mere one billion dollars in 1991 to 20 billion dollars in 1995. The Chinese say, Narasimha Rao followed consensus, coordination and adjustment policy. His ‘Look East Policy’ helped build new friends with new countries while retaining the old friends.
“Rao’s contribution to Indian diplomacy, according to Zhu Changmao is to link up economic development with the foreign policy through the Look East Policy of tapping the potentials of Southeast and East Asian regions. Moreover, by linking up with high economic growth centres, Mr Rao attempted a balance with the West as well. The role of Singapore was crucial in this process of integration,” Mr Srinkanth pointed out.
During his 1993 trip to China to sign the peace and tranquillity agreement, it was interesting that the leaders of the two countries decided that war as an instrument to resolve territorial dispute was abandoned. “PV suggested that devoid of war, India needs to emphasise on elements of coercive diplomacy so as to pre-empt any conflict on the bordering areas, he said.
Earlier, Kakatiya University Vice-Chancellor R Sayanna welcomed the gathering. PV’s daughter Surabhi Vani explained the efforts being made by the trust to perpetuate the ideals and work of the late leader.
KU registrar MV Ranga Rao, BRAOU Vice-Chancellor K Sitarama Rao and others were present.