India and the World
            THE primary objective of India’s engagement with the world is to ensure a peaceful, stable
      global environment and create the most propitious climate for India’s economic growth and
      development. The rising profile of the country in global affairs and its emergence as a fast
      growing economy in an otherwise difficult global environment presents a moment of opportunity
      that can be utilised to diversify India’s strategic and economic options. In this context, India’s
      external engagements have sought to simultaneously advance and deepen relations with each
      bilateral or multilateral partner, in the specific areas where such engagement brings maximum
      benefit to Indian interests. The common threads that run through the entire gamut of India’s
      international outreach over this period have been put together here.
            The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also known as the Foreign Ministry, is the
      government agency responsible for the conduct of foreign relations of the country.
      Relevant Website: www.mea.gov.in
            Like the previous years 2017-18 saw the continuation of a pragmatic and outcome-oriented
      foreign policy, aimed at achieving the key goals of ensuring national security and upholding
      territorial integrity, attaining national economic transformation, and addressing regional and
      global issues. This approach was reflected in the revitalisation of our traditional ties, in our re-
      energised strategic and commercial relations, and the continued engagement of our diaspora.
            The year witnessed intensive diplomatic engagements. India participated in regional and
      global discourses, with a constructive approach to all issues. During the year, India became a
      member of the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the
      Australia Group. The coming into force of the International Solar Alliance, a treaty-based
      international organisation, marks India’s role in addressing the vital issue of climate change.
      India also participated in various global conferences such as the SCO Summit, the G-20 Summit,
      the BRICS Summit, the East Asia Summit, and the World Economic Forum at Davos. We hosted
      the Global Conference on Cyberspace and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in November
      2017, the 3rd edition of the Raisina Dialogue and the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in
      January 2018.
            India’s immediate neighbourhood continued to receive the highest priority in accordance
      with the government’s “Neighbourhood First” policy. Outgoing visits by Prime Minister to Sri
      Lanka and Myanmar and by External Affairs Minister (EAM) to Nepal and Bangladesh;
      incoming visits by Prime Ministers of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh; and, Chief
      Executive of Afghanistan continued the momentum in our high-level engagement with the
      neighbourhood. With Afghanistan, the inauguration of a dedicated Air Cargo Corridor in June
      2017 between Kabul-Delhi and Kandahar-Delhi provided a fresh impetus to bilateral trade by
      overcoming regional connectivity constraints. Over 1000 tonnes of cargo has already been
      transported through the Air Corridor.
            Relations with Bangladesh were marked by progress in the areas of civil nuclear energy,
      space and defence cooperation. A third Line of Credit worth US$ 4.5 billion was announced, that
      will cover next-generation projects in port construction, railways, power and energy,