This regional grouping, which was envisioned as a potential bridge between SAARC and ASEAN, turns 20 on June 6. It achieved very little until last year, when efforts to revive its original mission began quite by accident. It has the potential to make greater strides if member states adhere to their commitments.
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This regional grouping of 10 nations, which observes its golden jubilee year in 2017, has come a long way from the Cold War era when it was founded, making a significant contribution to peace, security and prosperity. Now, its future prospects and “centrality” look uncertain amidst the region’s changing geopolitics
The two decade-old Indian Ocean Rim Association holds its first ever summit next week. Maritime safety and security in the region is a paramount concern as also enhanced trade, but will the Blue Economy be included as a priority? Another area of concern is devising modalities for cooperation with dialogue partners, such as the United States, China and Japan
At a time when New Delhi is beginning to not just ‘Look East’ but also ‘Act East’, and when parallel integrative processes are underway globally, including the ASEAN-led process, the incipient China-led process and the U.S.-led TTP, India and ASEAN could together produce a brilliant new era of Asian integration
The seven decade-reign of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who passed away last month, was rich with event. There were coups, but economic development too, with the skilful leader managing to hold the nation together
In two years, the Modi government’s Act East Policy has gone well beyond the focus on economic ties of its predecessor, the Look East Policy. It has made progress on many wider fronts, including connectivity and defence collaboration. India must now build on this success and further consolidate relations and trade links with ASEAN and beyond
The U.S.-driven Trans Pacific Partnership agreement between 12 countries, which is aiming to become the new standard of world trade, impacts domestic systems globally. For India, it will skew investment and intellectual property rights, and especially the debate over the Investor State Dispute System which allows companies to challenge sovereign rights and public policy.
As it celebrates its 240th birthday, the U.S. Navy would do well to keep the Indian Ocean in mind.
With the upcoming Singapore elections, the Malaysian corruption scandals and the Thai Junta's lack of an exit from the political structure, Southeast Asian democracy is having its mettle tested.
The delay in the integration of freer skilled labor mobility in AEC only reaffirms the understanding that the establishment of an economic community is a gradual process. Necessary regional policies, strategies, and concrete actions must be undertaken by ASEAN to resolve current challenges in managing the freer movement of skilled labor.