External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Sunday that the role of her ministry is undergoing transformation, as apart from diplomatic functions, now it is also acting as a catalyst to national development.
Addressing the closing ceremony of the two-day Global Investors’ Summit here, Sushma Swaraj said it is also because of the changing role of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), among others, that there has been an increase of 53 per cent in the foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.
“This is first time that the foreign ministry has taken upon itself the task to boost national development. Never ever in the past domestic development was part of the MEA agenda,” he said.
“Previously, it used to be just a ministry for diplomatic purposes. But today, we are performing the diplomatic role, ensuring safety of the Indians in trouble abroad, and also generating funds for the development of the country,” the minister said.
Sushma Swaraj said: “Compared to the last year, there’s been a rise of 53 per cent in FDI, which is going to the states. With a view to ensure that investments reach the states, a dedicated division has been formed within the MEA. An officer under the MEA Joint Secretary guides the states in making the most of such funds.”
The External Affairs Minister also called upon the investors to make greater investments in Madhya Pradesh.
She said her parliamentary constituency, Vidisha, falls within this state, and Budhni, the assembly constituency of state’s Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, also falls within her constituency.
“So, those making investments here will avail special benefits…the ministry helps the investors going to other states, but those investing in Madhya Pradesh will get direct assistance from the foreign minister herself,” she added.