Despite its natural advantages, the Bay of Bengal region lags economically, in part due to insufficient connectivity between the member nations. Improving financial connectivity between them is the first step to easing movement of goods, services and people. Greater financial collaboration also can help the region mitigate the impact of ongoing geopolitical upheavals that have caused food and energy prices to rise.
Digital services innovation has contributed to inclusive global trade and development. However, governance regimes around digital regulation are still fledgling. This Policy Brief makes recommendations to boost implementation of digital regulatory good practices for interoperability and development of the required governance.
On May 30, Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow for Foreign Policy Studies, Gateway House, and Chair of the FICCI Task Force on Blue Economy spoke with Carl Jaison at the Takshashila Institution on India’s national efforts to harness the Blue Economy sectors. They discussed it the draft National Policy on Blue Economy developed by the NITI Aayong, the role of the private sector, the opportunities and challenges in the key and allied sectors, and potential areas of collaboration for the G20 countries.
After many early achievements, BRICS is now in gridlock, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, India-China border tensions, and the Ukraine conflict. Despite its apparent diplomatic bankruptcy, 19 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America are eagerly waiting in line to join the grouping.
India’s South Asian neighbours have all seen sharp currency devaluations since early 2022. These are a result of maintaining artificially strong exchange rates, made possible by remittances from migrant workers. However, by postponing the inevitable devaluations, these states have made their economic crises much worse.
Dhaka recently hosted the Indian Ocean Conference 2023, a multi-country event featuring speakers and participants from the Indian Ocean countries. In recent years, Bangladesh has gone from a ‘basket-case’ to a case study in progress, and across Dhaka are signs of a city undergoing dramatic change.
The Sri Lankan economy is showing signs of stabilizing after experiencing the worst contraction in its history in 2022. Decisive policies by President Ranil Wickremasinghe, timely Indian aid, and an IMF Programme have laid the groundwork for a return to growth. India and Sri Lanka must now shift from an aid relationship to one which deepens bilateral trade and investment flows.
In this era of multiple crises eroding multilateral institutions, G20 needs to come out clearly in favour of an expanded, more democratic, more representative, and more accountable UNSC. Shifting from a bottom-up to a top-down approach, G20 leaders should consider incorporating a calibrated but forward-looking paragraph on UNSC reform in the Delhi Declaration.
On 10-12 May, 2023, Manjeet Kripalani, Executive Director, Gateway House participated in the T20 Mid-year Conference hosted by Think20 and G20 in Mumbai. She delivered a special address on the integral position of Mumbai in the Indo-Pacific, pointing out the city’s historical, geopolitical, maritime, and commercial linkages with the Indian Ocean world.
India, as chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, hosted the foreign ministers’ meet in Goa last week. What would have been an important and expanding regional grouping has been complicated by the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the increased influence of China and an obstructionist Pakistan. Still, India has played its role with an eye on the long term.