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
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Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia participated as a panelist at edition VIII of the Delhi Dialogue hosted by IDSA.
Vice President Ansari’s recent visits to Brunei and Thailand provided further clarity to the Act East Policy while advancing its implementation. He effectively showcased that the rationale for a strong India-ASEAN strategic partnership is sharper than before.
The AIIB is a step along a path that started with the Asian financial crisis, which defined ASEAN’s views about the U.S.’s commitment to the region. Although the bank may signal the rise of China, it is also a coming together of Chinese and ASEAN goals—ASEAN’s focus on infrastructure for growth requires another source of finance, and this forecasts its strong relationship with the AIIB
After bilateral meetings, the thrust for Prime Minister Modi will now change with various multilateral summits coming up, starting with India-ASEAN and the East Asia Summit next week. These are opportunities to expand India’s regional position and economic links, and address issues such as terrorism and a rising China
Myanmar, currently listed as one of the least developed nations by the UN, provides its neighbouring countries the opportunity to invest in one of the world’s last few business frontiers. Sushma Swaraj on her maiden visit to Nay Pyi Taw should continue to strengthen ties based on economic goals to develop largely underdeveloped areas along the common border as well use Myanmar’s increasing weight in the ASEAN grouping
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
Recent developments indicate that Pacific Alliance member states have their gaze firmly set upon Asian-Pacific and ASEAN economies. Can a Pacific Alliance deal with China or ASEAN serve as a powerful incentive to force the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) through the U.S. Senate?
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.