Rajiv Bhatia

Rajiv Bhatia

Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme

Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia is Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Studies Programme at Gateway House. He is a member of CII’s International Advisory Council, Trade Policy Council and Africa Committee. He is the Chair of FICCI’s Task Force on Blue Economy, and served as Chair of Core Group of Experts on BIMSTEC. He is a founding member of the Kalinga International Foundation and a member of the governing council of Asian Confluence.  As Director General of the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) from 2012-15, he played a key role in strengthening India's Track-II research and outreach activities. During a 37-year innings in the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), he served as Ambassador to Myanmar and Mexico and as High Commissioner to Kenya, South Africa and Lesotho. He dealt with a part of South Asia, while posted as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. A prolific columnist, he is also regular speaker on foreign policy and diplomacy in India and abroad. He was Senior Visiting Research Fellow during 2011-13 at the Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore. He holds a master’s degree in political science from Allahabad University.  His first book India in Global Affairs: Perspectives from Sapru House (KW Publishers, 2015) presented a sober and insightful view of India’s contemporary foreign policy. His second book,  India-Myanmar Relations: Changing contours(Routledge 2016) received critical acclaim. His third book, India-Africa Relations: Changing Horizons (Routledge 2022) has also been receiving positive reviews.  
Expertise

Indo-Pacific (including the Quad), Myanmar, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, Blue Economy, Multilateral Groupings, Indian Foreign Policy and Diplomacy, including major power relations (U.S., China, EU, Russia and Japan).

Last modified: February 20, 2020

Recent projects

TH23-RAJIVBHATIA-XISMYANMARVISIT3 Courtesy: The Hindu/Handout
27 January 2020 The Hindu

Myanmar’s growing dependence on China

Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to Myanmar on January 17 highlighted the economic aspect of the two countries’ bilateral relationship. China has been Myanmar’s top partner for years. But more than the 33 agreements signed, the visit threw light on the region’s changing geopolitics and Myanmar’s own compulsions in growing closer to China

shutterstock_1298932279 Courtesy: Shutterstock
24 January 2020 Gateway House

Mexico, the other North American partner

This year marks the completion of 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and Mexico – but the full potential of this bilateral relationship has not been explored. Mexico exports oil to India, and hosts facilities of the Indian auto, IT and pharma sectors. There are three profitable reasons to intensify the bilateral, fulfilling both the diplomatic and business agenda
IMG-20200121-WA0004 Courtesy: FICCI
21 January 2020 Gateway House

Blue Economy’s global best practices

This is a transcript of a speech delivered by Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Chair, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Core Group of Experts and Taskforce, at the launch of a study on the Blue Economy
shutterstock_44385856 Courtesy: Shutterstock
2 January 2020 Gateway House

India’s diplomatic agenda in 2020

India will host four prestigious international conferences, such as the India-Africa Forum Summit and the subsidiary SCO Summit in the course of the next three years. These are historic opportunities for the country to show global leadership and fulfil a diplomatic agenda that involves handling strategic competition and advancing partnerships
49140660266_899f513af1_c Courtesy: MEA/Flickr
19 December 2019 Gateway House

Reset in India-Sri Lanka relations

Relations between India and Sri Lanka are set to change. The expeditious manner in which the Indian external affairs minister met the newly elected Sri Lankan president, who reciprocated by making India the first foreign country he visited, raises hopes. An analysis of the factors that impede and facilitate such a shift
kcmodi0312_0 Courtesy: Flickr/MEA
28 November 2019 Gateway House

Assessing the 35th ASEAN Summit

The 35th summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations, held in Bangkok early in November, showed that a shifting geostrategic landscape notwithstanding, “ASEAN centrality” in the region is a top priority with members. It also served as a backdrop for three summits that ASEAN held on November 4 with China, U.S. and India
From Right to Left: Tony Blair, Condoleeza Rice, Robert Gates, John Howard.
Sitting: Henry Kissinger Courtesy: @narendramodi/twitter
31 October 2019 Gateway House

Rice, Kissinger and history revisited

Dr Condoleezza Rice and Dr Henry Kissinger, speakers at the annual meeting of the U.S-India Strategic Partnership Forum, in Delhi in October 2019, kept the audience riveted. The topics covered included China as competitor, the earlier disharmony in India-U.S. relations, and tips from a veteran on the art of negotiation
48858480898_d65cd12503_c Courtesy: MEA/Flickr
17 October 2019 Gateway House

Bangladesh, India’s exemplary neighbour

Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India earlier this month, resulting in seven new agreements, showed the strength of the mutual relationship. But both governments need to address some rankling issues: the sharing of the Teesta waters, the Rohingya problem and repatriation of the illegal people from Assam