Things are unfolding an interesting way in the international horizon following the race to win India’s favour by two superpowers of the world. Russia and the United States are well-aware of the fact that India is third fastest growing economy and potentially the economic leader in the region.
In this context, both the countries are trying to secure a better working relationship and strike a number of trade deals with India so that they can reap maximum economic benefits.
Stats and numbers back India’s claim of being a potential economic giant. India has seen its economy get doubled in the past decade and has surpassed the economy of France. India’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP) has climbed by an average 8.3 per cent in last 10 years, growing by a whopping 116.3 per cent.
In monetary terms, it underwent a rise from $1.201 trillion in 2007 to $2.597 trillion in 2017. Unquestionably, these staggering numbers showcase the fact that India’s economy is flourishing by leaps and bounds. So, the interest of superpowers is not a surprise.
On the other hand, India, in a bid to be less dependent on OPEC for energy requirements, received the first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia’s Gazprom in the first week of June 2018. This shipment was followed by a first-ever American LNG cargo to India operation.
Without taking anything away from Indian intentions, Russia and United States are now increasingly finding themselves in a rivalry for having a share in India’s energy sector. It is undoubtedly a milestone for both, the Indian energy sector and foreign policy. The ball is now in Indian court in terms of how they exploit this saga.
India, however, will have to perform a balancing act to keep both the countries interested in order to boost its trade relations. In addition, to keep the diversification strategy alive, India must improve its own negotiating impact as a chief energy importer.
Having said that, the more imports demand the better infrastructure, upgraded storage facilities and proficient distribution. Indian government must plan according to the circumstances and try to cater to the growing needs associated with more freight operations.
To improve this sort of cargo handling, Indian authorities must build specialized gas storing facilities at the ports for initial stockpiling. Plus, construction of new warehouses is the need of the hour so that the operation does not hinder.
This prospect can be estimated from the fact that the initial deal India made with Gazprom for the supply of 2.5 million tonnes per annum, had to be reduced by 80 per cent, thanks to the realization at India’s end that her infrastructure cannot handle such a voluminous freight. Therefore, India must improve the infrastructure before endeavouring on such a voyage in order to avoid embarrassment internationally and reduced deliveries.
The growing interest of two superpowers is a good omen for Indian economy and trade. This competition is a guarantee to boost India’s relations with these countries.
If India successfully capitalizes this fiasco, good days are bound to come for the country. Being the centre of attention for both the superpowers will supplement India’s economic ambitions to a great extent. A rational approach coupled with realistic negotiations may prove to be the best strategy for India and India Govt. is absolutely ready for that.