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Diplomacy Vivek Anand

July 2023 - March 2024

Unveiling the Dynamics of Economic Paradiplomacy: Exploring Trends and Identifying Best Practices

Economic paradiplomacy refers to the pursuit of economic interests by sub-national actors, such as states and cities, outside the framework of national foreign policy. Globalization and the decentralization of economic power have created a dynamic landscape where these entities actively engage internationally. From promoting trade to cultural exchanges, from climate advocacy to soliciting foreign investments, sub-national entities, including non-government institutions like chambers of commerce and industry, are pursuing diplomatic objectives that echo their unique competencies and priorities. Despite the meteoric rise and the growing sophistication of such initiatives, scholars often regard paradiplomacy as experimental and, hence, inconsequential. There is a need to look beyond the lens of classical statecraft and conventional diplomacy frameworks and recognize paradiplomacy as an influential force in contemporary international relations.

Mr. Anand’s project assumes the mantle of inquisitive scholarship, seeking to delve into the intricate dynamics of paradiplomacy to discern the trends that shape this paradigm, and unearth the best practices employed by subnational actors across the globe - including, but not limited to foreign representations, multilateral arrangements, and state/city partnerships among others. The endeavor aims to develop a template to comprehensively examine paradiplomatic initiatives in terms of purpose, stakeholders, institutionalization processes, and implications in the domains of trade, innovation, skill development, and sustainability - four pillars supporting the socio-economic tapestry of nations. By analyzing case studies, scrutinizing policy frameworks, and engaging with the community of scholars and expert practitioners, this study of paradiplomacy will gain insights into the motivations, strategies, and collaborative endeavors between sub-national actors.

The goal is to weave together a nuanced discourse and present an actionable roadmap to policymakers, practitioners, and academic researchers alike, for leveraging the immense potential of paradiplomacy to foster economic growth, technological prowess, human capital development, and environmental stewardship on a global scale.


Vivek Anand is a public administrator currently on a sabbatical from his role as Deputy Director in the Ministry of Finance for the Government of India. With one and a half decades of multi-disciplinary experience across consulting, entrepreneurship, and government administration, he is a seasoned civil servant with leadership experience across technology, governance, policy-making, and international relations. Over his career, he has been at the forefront of initiatives spanning governance and technology, specializing in public-private partnerships and international collaborations.

For his professional and leadership excellence, in 2018, Mr. Anand was awarded the Finance Minister’s Gold Medal. In 2020, he came to Germany as the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s German Chancellor Fellowship. Over 1.5 years, he studied European governance structures and policymaking for developing an innovation ecosystem for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). During this time, he also facilitated numerous Indo-German and Indo-Spanish collaboration projects in open innovation and Industry 4.0. In 2021, he delivered the keynote at the German Indian Round Table (GIRT) hosted by India’s honorary Consul-General to Germany, Mr. Andreas Lapp.

He is an alumnus of the National Institute of Technology Calicut, the National Law School of India University, as well as the prestigious National Academy of Administration of India.