The following remarks were given by Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Gateway House as a speaker at the ASEAN-India Business Summit on November 27, 2018.
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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.
China has expanded its presence in the Indian Ocean Region. President Xi Jinping has abandoned Deng Xiaoping’s conciliatory posture for an aggressive, money-fuelled search for super power status
The crippling effect of American sanctions are thorough; designed to strangle economies and bring entire nations to a halt. However, they unknowingly pull people together, imparting a deep sense of patriotism and often sparking innovation which can quickly surpass any other world power. With sanctions being lifted on nations like Myanmar, Iran and, hopefully, Cuba, the question remains whether they will retain their uniqueness or fall into line with the rest?
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 India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in services and trade will allow India to leverage its competitive offerings in IT, finance, among other fields. But the pact has proved elusive so far due to the open squabbling between ministries. The deal now looks set to come through only after the new government takes over
The U.S. government shutdown and President Obama’s absence gave China immense diplomatic and political space at the APEC and East Asia Summit meetings. China’s declaration of a “de-Americanised” world may be premature but the crumbling old order is doing little to dispel this notion
The steps taken by the Indian government to enable private sector involvement in ASEAN have been hesitant. After the recent ASEAN summit in New Delhi, it is time for greater coordination of Indian private industry with government-to-government interaction, which will benefit all members, including India.
What have economic blockades in India's North East achieved? For one, they choked off the supply chain of an already isolated region. With Myanmar showing signs of warming towards India, New Delhi must establish ties with its eastern neighbour, but first, it needs to fix Manipur’s broken socio-political landscape.
Shipra Tripathi, Vice President - International Business for Kirloskar Brothers, writes from Myanmar on India's relationship with its neighbour and also the changes taking place in the country due to increasing investments, business opportunities and China's influence in the region.