Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a dig at the previous UPA dispensation, saying that his government had initiated an ‘Act East Policy’ that had remained ‘Look East’ for a “long time”.
Addressing the Indian community in Seoul after his arrival here, Modi also said that the ‘I’ of BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – had begun teetering and almost collapsed, but under his government, India has regained its stature and importance.
He said the major highlight of his government’s foreign policy is the Act East Policy.
“Earlier, it was Look East Policy… We have seen that for a long time,” he said, tongue in cheek, amid chants of “Modi, Modi”.
He said he has witnessed how India’s neighbourhood was moving ahead at a fast pace and that earlier promising things were being said about India too.
He said that economists said the BRICS countries would soar, but have changed their tune in the past decade.
“Economists have changed their tune and began saying that the ‘I’ of BRICS is stumbling and falling… They said that BRICS was losing its importance because the ‘I’ has begun teetering (ludak gaya).”
“But in the past year things have changed and the world feels that without ‘I’ BRICS will not be possible,” he said to cheering.
Modi said all the international rating agencies like Moody’s and the World Bank have in the past two months “in one voice” said that India is the world’s fastest moving economy.
Talking on the 21st century being termed the Asian century, he said: “Earlier, we would wonder if India would figure in Asian century story. But now the way India has risen they feel that the 21st century will definitely be the Asian century.”
He said that the morose economic outlook earlier had disheartened investors and businesspersons and that many were on the verge of leaving India.
“I don’t want to criticize, but it is a fact,” he said, adding that “there is a change in mood among the people now”.