Mumbai, April 14, 2021. Gateway House, an independent and non-partisan foreign policy think tank, has begun a six-month study on expanding the cooperation of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad). The study, led by a task force of experts, will look beyond security, and focus on developing economic and technological cooperation between the four democracies – India, the U.S. Japan and Australia – to create a lasting multilateral grouping in the Indo-Pacific
The Task Force is co-chaired by Lisa Curtis, Senior Fellow and Director, Indo-Pacific Security Program, Center for a New American Security, Washington, D.C., and Surjit Bhalla, Executive Director for India at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Washington, D.C. The initiative was launched by the co-chairs at an Inception Meeting on 23rd March, 2021.
Speaking about this pioneering initiative, Manjeet Kripalani, Executive Director and co-founder said, “The goal is to facilitate a discussion between industry, academia, the strategic community and governments and offer a blueprint for the Quad countries to enhance economic and technological cooperation. Currently the only such non-government initiative, the Task Force presents a unique opportunity for engagement by multiple stakeholders.”
The Quad is currently a limited grouping, characterised by its security collaboration in the Indo-Pacific region. It lacks an economic dimension like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) or European Union (EU) that negotiates as a bloc. Gateway House’s Quad Task Force hopes to develop an economic engagement within the Quad, guided by the goals set out in the joint op-ed of the Quad Leaders after their Virtual Summit on March 12, 2021.
The Task Force will also focus on technology, for fostering transparency and trust, as each of the Quad members are techno-nations in their own right.
Highlighting the importance of the grouping, Lisa Curtis said “I am delighted to co-chair this important and timely Task Force to explore how these four powerful Indo-Pacific democracies can work together to ensure the secure and transparent development and deployment of cutting-edge technologies in a way that both contributes to prosperity and protects the liberal values the Quad countries hold dear.”
Surjit Bhalla said “I am delighted to co-chair a task force which is both historic and timely. There is an urgency to thinking, and defining, what democracies can achieve in a globalized post-COVID world.”
The outcome of this Task Force will help set the foundation for long-term cooperation, and work towards the shared Quad vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Task Force Co-Chairs
Lisa Curtis is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). She is a foreign policy and national security expert with over 20 years of service in the U.S. government, including at the NSC, CIA, State Department, and Capitol Hill. Her work has centered on U.S. policy toward the Indo-Pacific and South Asia, with a particular focus on U.S.- India strategic relations; Quad (U.S., Australia, India, and Japan) cooperation; counterterrorism strategy in South and Central Asia; and China’s role in the region.
Surjit S. Bhalla is currently the Executive Director for India at the International Monetary Fund and is a former part-time member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Economic Advisory Council. In addition, he serves as Chairperson for the Ministry of Commerce High Level Advisory Group on Trade; Economic Adviser to the Fifteenth Finance Commission, Government of India. He is a regular Invitee to the Aspen Institute Program on World Economy, USA, 2002-present. He is also a Contributing Editor for Indian Express (since 2014). He was Founder-Chairman of Oxus Research & Investments 1997-2017.
About Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations
Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations is a foreign policy think tank in Mumbai, India, established to engage India’s leading corporations and individuals in debate and scholarship on India’s foreign policy and the nation’s role in global affairs. Gateway House is independent, non-partisan and membership-based working towards co-designing perspectives on global issues that are important to India with a focus to taking India from a global rule taker to rule maker.
Our key areas of study are geopolitics, geoeconomics, energy & environment, space and ocean studies, international security (maritime, cyber and digital), international law and Bombay history.
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