New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said that large majority of people in India have recognised that the country’s stature in the world has risen in the last five years.

“A large majority of people in India recognised that India’s stature in the world has risen in the last five years,” Jaishankar said, adding that “the government has kept alive and perhaps even strengthened expectation of change in India”.

Addressing a gathering at a seminar in the national capital, Jaishankar said a “global rebalancing” is taking place and the “sharpest manifestation” of that is the rise of China and to an extent, the rise of India as well. The former foreign secretary took part in the event days after taking charge of the ministry, a rare instance of a career diplomat handling the key portfolio as a minister.

“Third which is actually longer term change is sort of global re-balancing, sharpest manifestation of that is rise of China, to some extent rise of India as well but overall if you look at it in a 20-yr time frame, it’s very clear relative weights of global economies are changing,” S. Jaishankar noted.

The government looks different from the outside than from inside, Jaishankar, who served as foreign secretary from 2015-18 said.

“We can build a closer region through regional connectivity projects,” he added.

“Today, if we want to propel economic change, I think there is a greater responsibility for Indian foreign policy to focus on external aspects of it, to create partnerships & mechanisms which help Indian businesses do their business outside the country,” the minister said.

There is big responsibility on the External Affairs Ministry to focus on project execution which has strategic significance, he added.

The MEA added that since India is the largest economy in South Asia, the primary responsibility “to serve as a lifting tide for all our neighbours” lies with it.

“The Primary responsibility is on India because we are the largest economy (in South Asia), in that sense our growth can serve as a lifting tide for all our neighbours, if that happens, I don’t think we should over-negotiate that. Need to incentivise the cooperation in neighbourhood.”

(With agency inputs)