The Bay of Bengal is a bridge between the Indo-Pacific and the Indian Ocean, and with a population of 1.4 billion, an increasingly important economic zone in its own right. India has been slow to build regional connectivity. The space has been filled by China's Belt and Road Initiative projects, which have not always been beneficial for host countries. The region may be better off pursuing digital connectivity by enabling tech startups – areas of India’s strength. This research uses maps to explore the potential for energy, transport, and financial connectivity across the Bay of Bengal.
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China is rapidly expanding its influence in the Indian Ocean Region, as its massive investment in ports starts to materialise. From smaller investments of $78 million in Djibouti to large ones like $1.6 billion in Gwadar, these are funded largely by Chinese state-owned enterprises. This infographic shows the 17 ports being built by China, which are now important strategic, economic and political outposts for the country.
On 28 May 2021, the Biden administration submitted a much-delayed Defense Budget to Congress, asking for $715 billion for 2022, a 1.6% increase over the previous year’s $703.7 billion. This marginal increase highlights the U.S.’s shrinking capacities compared with China, which spends less than a third of the U.S. on defence. This Budget is focussed on challenges in the U.S.’s geographic vicinity, not the administration’s resolve to counter the threat of China from a position of strength.
In March 2021, the World Economic Forum (WEF) announced the addition of 15 manufacturing facilities to the prestigious Global Lighthouse Network. Two Indian companies were on the list – the Tata Steel facility in Jamshedpur, and the ReNew Power facility in Hubli. This is twice the number of Indian companies on the list last year. Many more facilities will likely be added to the WEF list, as several prepare to graduate their manufacturing businesses to keep up with Industry 4.0.
Over the last five years, China has quietly created a significant place for itself in India – in the technology domain. While India has refused to sign on to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), this map shows India's positioning in the virtual BRI to be strategically invaluable for China. Nearly $4 billion in venture investments in start-ups, the online ecosystem and apps have been made by Chinese entities. This is just the beginning; there is much more to come.
Oil prices, arms exports and conflict are inter related especially when it comes to the U.S. Its arms industry grows when high prices and conflicts coincide. This has kept West Asia on a perennial geopolitical boil. This infographic charts the highs and lows of U.S. arms sales, especially in the light of conflicts centred around West Asia
India has used military and diplomatic offensives against Pakistan as a response to the February 14 terrorist attack in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir. There are two more options available - legal, through sanctions, and economic - to curb Pakistan's dangerous adventurism. Gateway House explores both in the infographic below
The infographic illustrates the extensive G2G engagement between India and Japan, which undergirds the strategic partnership.
India and the world have watched China’s growing investment in Asia and beyond with a mix of awe and apprehension. The unprecedented scale of these investments are reshaping political arrangements around South Asia.
Nepal has historically enjoyed close economic ties with India. An open border and the large number of Nepalis in the Indian army testify to the two countries’ economic and social proximity. But as with other countries in India’s neighbourhood, Chinese investment is leading Nepal to tilt towards China.