No Foreign Office today is content to merely build friendly and good relations in the classical sense. Even economic content of diplomacy, which had gained currency in recent decades, is no longer the catch phrase in the conduct of international relations. The sophistication and the growing needs of the economy coupled with the demands of globalization have brought about a qualitative change in the conduct of international relations. Energy - thermal and nuclear, science and technology, biotechnology, information technology, nanotechnology, environment, space, sustainable development, PURA and the like are now at the core of diplomatic vocabulary. Market protection is giving way to dismantling of trade barriers.

Competition is the mantra, free trade the dharma and multilateralism the altar on which the economic relations are now conducted. Energy - the strategic need for which has spurred unprecedented demand  has, today, become the centerpiece of foreign policy. No wonder in India too the energy, whether nuclear, natural gas or hydrocarbon dominates the foreign policy debate, as in many other countries. The challenge between high growth and social progress, hitherto, the attribute of domestic politics has today assumed international ramifications. Neither is possible without foreign investment and modern technology. The problem of keeping the gap narrow between lrich and the poor, maintaining economic vitality and efficiency, attracting greater foreign investment and enhancing the competitiveness of indigenous industry against globalization trends, promoting mega projects and helping the smaller entrepreneurs to survive and stand competition are some of the challenges which have assumed foreign policy implications even as they are governed by domestic economic compulsions. While much of the burden of reconciling the conflicting demands of modernization and globalization has to be met by economic and financial experts, the Foreign Service bureaucracy today is shouldering its own share of the challenge. The 756 documents in this compendium provide an ample proof of this.