This regional grouping, which was envisioned as a potential bridge between SAARC and ASEAN, turns 20 on June 6. It achieved very little until last year, when efforts to revive its original mission began quite by accident. It has the potential to make greater strides if member states adhere to their commitments.
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This speech was delivered by Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Gateway House and Chair, FICCI Task Force on Blue Economy, at the Indian Ocean Rim Association Senior Officials Meeting in Jakarta
India’s global economic engagement, especially with the developing world, has increased in the last two decades, but trade with South Asia has remained low. It holds the potential for building greater productivity and more inclusive growth in India and the region
The two decade-old Indian Ocean Rim Association holds its first ever summit next week. Maritime safety and security in the region is a paramount concern as also enhanced trade, but will the Blue Economy be included as a priority? Another area of concern is devising modalities for cooperation with dialogue partners, such as the United States, China and Japan
Perhaps South Block did not gain as much as it had hoped to: there was a gulf in member states’ perceptions. One takeaway, therefore, for policy makers was that while noise has its uses, it is now time for some quiet diplomacy
Does India plan to remodel its Andaman & Nicobar Islands as a launching pad for future security operations to check growing Chinese inroads in the Indian Ocean Region? Development of the islands has long been ignored to India’s detriment, and their strategic position in the Indian Ocean, underutilised.
With the Modi government’s focus on improving neighbourhood relations, India cannot afford delays in its aid projects in the region—especially because aid is an effective foreign policy instrument. Why are these projects getting delayed? Is the government taking remedial steps to improve India’s aid programme?
Indian foreign secretary S. Jaishankar’s visit to SAARC countries from March 1 is an opportunity to examine the political trajectories in the region. While democracy in some countries like Sri Lanka is on an upswing, in others, like Bangladesh, it is in decline. With China’s growing economic influence in South Asia, can Indian democracy be an effective counterpoint?
The 18th SAARC Summit held in Nepal concluded on November 27 with the release of the Kathmandu Declaration. Did the summit live up to its expectations? Was concrete progress made, and if so in which areas? Where is SAARC heading now? Gateway House asks and answers five questions on the outcome of the summit
Despite an early regional consensus on counter-terror, SAARC’s record in tackling terrorism remains dismal. With the widening network of terrorist groups in the subcontinent, it is imperative that India takes the lead in forging substantial counter-terrorism cooperation, particularly on the issue of financing