Vietnam had a busy 2020, starting with its chairmanship of ASEAN and ending with the signing of RCEP, and a free trade agreement with the EU. All were completed successfully despite the pandemic, which it also handled well. It has revealed Vietnam’s dexterity and confidence, good management and societal control and raised the country’s global profile.
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Six months after Malaysia’s parliamentary elections, its domestic affairs are still untidy. The government is combating corruption, but not bringing in constitutional reform. A successor’s name is not emerging clearly either. But Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad’s foreign relations priorities – principally, Japan and China – are in order
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
Lee Kuan Yew transformed a “pestilential and immoral cesspool” into a glittering global city with the world’s highest per capita income and the highest percentage of home ownership. Lee also had grand vision for the role that India could play in Asia.
By using information and communication technology innovatively, Singapore has overcome the challenges of limited size and resources. There are many lessons here for India which is collaborating with Singapore on the Smart Cities project – especially when it comes to affordable housing and transport planning.
As India and the world welcome the recent democratization of Myanmar, this presents India an opportunity to increase its access to South East Asian countries as well, especially with members of ASEAN which still have catching up to do – particularly Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Amidst myriad country groupings that already exist – BRICS, IBSA, APEC, SCO and many others – a new initiative in the Pacific is looking to integrate more powerful countries to form a multilateral free trade agreement – the Trans Pacific Partnership. How important is this towards the reshaping of trade and power?
The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games was a moment to celebrate the economic progress of the world's largest democracy, and showcase India's tradition and diversity in all its finery