The Indo-Pacific region envisages the Indian and Pacific Oceans as a continuum and stands on two central pillars – maritime security and economic development. The public discussions, however, are focused on maritime security, strategy and geopolitics, while economic development has received less attention. This imbalance can be corrected by creating an awareness on how to harness the potential of the region's Blue Economy and its vast resources and opportunities.
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The supply of critical minerals, crucial for new and emerging technologies such as electric vehicles, electronics and renewable energy production, faces a significant disruption due to Covid and the Ukraine crisis. As the prices of these valuable resources surge, India can secure its supplies through the sagacious use of financial investments, efficient policies, and propriety technology. A collaboration with Japan can offer multifaceted benefits.
Low global commodity prices, strong FDI inflows, and sustained growth have boosted the Indian economy in the preceding decade. This favourable economic climate, however, was disrupted by the pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine, exposing vulnerabilities in the global economic system. This paper focuses on India’s economic security challenges, particularly in six sectors - Food, Energy, Finance, Data, Space & Undersea Cables and Critical Minerals - and suggests possible courses of action.
The Quad has agreed to launch a satellite-based maritime security initiative to curb illegal fishing by China. India is a global leader in satellite launches, especially in Earth Observation (EO) satellites. The Indo-Pacific nations are looking at the Indian model because it is applicable, economical, and sustainable.
China has established a dominant presence in the Indo-Pacific through exploitative economic engagements. This has destabilised smaller nations in the region and made them dependent on Chinese support. For a free and open Indo-Pacific, India must press its advantage in human and economic capacity building.
China's 2022 defence budget reflects the seriousness of the Communist Party aims to fully modernise the People’s Liberation Army by 2027. Given the on-going border competition, it is crucial for India too, to optimise budgetary resources, intensify restructuring and enhance indigenous defence production, thereby improve power projection capability.
The Indian diaspora has played a significant role in deepening the country's engagement with the Indo-Pacific nations. India can leverage this soft diplomacy to play a constructive role in the region.
The Indo-Pacific has become an important part of global geopolitics in the recent past, with several great powers implementing concerted Indo-Pacific policies to create economic, social and security linkages with the region. India can use its development experience and futuristic technology to secure stability and prosperity. This compendium of essays explores the comprehensive role that India can play in the Indo-Pacific, from energy and environment, to trade, security, technology and a vibrant diaspora.
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.
Conceived in 2020, the task force studied promising areas for cooperation between the Quad countries beyond their pre-existing maritime security partnership. The report highlights the need to increase economic and technological interdependence among the Quad countries and to establish common and updated rules and standards for emerging technologies in five study areas. The unique mix of the group – three developed and one developing nation, three Pacific and one Indian Ocean nation, three producer-trading nations with one massive emerging market – lends itself to innovation, experimentation and cooperation that can be a template for a new, post-pandemic geopolitical era.