New Delhi: Seeking better ties with
countries in the region, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today
said India was engaging its neighbours without looking for
"India, by and large, has good relations with her
neighbours. We were engaging them without looking at
reciprocity, in our own enlightened interest," he said
inaugurating the third conference of Heads of Missions here.
Singh said that Indian diplomats were facilitating the
creation of an international environment that was conducive to
India`s progress, development and attainment of its external
Outlining his vision of India, the Prime Minister said
that the foremost national goal was to remove poverty and
accelerate the pace of economic development.
"We are building modern infrastructure which would stand
up to the challenge of a fast moving economy. The nation is
also focusing on human resource development, as the quality of
human resources determines the standing of a country in the
comity of nations," Singh said.
He underlined that science and technology was a major
factor of power and wealth of a nation and India ought to have
the ability to master technology.
The Prime Minister noted that India was among the fastest
growing economies in the world, which despite the global
meltdown in 2008-09, had returned to a growth path of 8.5 per
He said energy availability was critical to attaining a
9-10 per cent growth rate, as one per cent growth needed 0.8
per cent increase in energy availability.
Singh said foreign policy had a very important role in
securing India`s energy needs.
Highlighting the increasingly inter-dependent global
environment, he said India needed an open trading system and
wanted to emerge as a major trading nation in the world.
"G-20 had become a key forum for discussing and shaping
international economic and financial policies. Foreign policy
had also to pay more attention to functioning of G20," the
Prime Minister said.
Singh said that India sought a peaceful and tranquil
international environment as well as very good relations with
all countries, especially with neighbours and major powers.
Foreign policy should also be oriented towards East and
South East Asia which were poised for a sustained growth rate
in the 21st century, he said.