There have been mixed reactions to India’s not signing on to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. India is often criticised for abstaining from trade agreements and being a protectionist nation, but in fact, the reverse is true. The country’s trade to GDP ratio of 43% is higher than China’s 38% and the U.S.’ 27%. This shows how important trade is for India, particularly if it wants to reach the 2024 goal of being a $5- trillion economy.
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The key global powers are redefining their roles in the Indo-Pacific to promote national interest. China’s rise and increased activism in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region is an uncontested reality even as Asian countries worry about the new cold war in which the U.S. and China are locked. The Quadrilateral Dialogue has reemerged to prevent a unipolar Asia — these are some of the trends unfolding in this arena
Indonesia and Malaysia appreciate India’s leadership role in the Indo-Pacific, but are also aware of all that keeps it from delivering on its commitments. A policy visit to the two countries enabled a closer look at some key issues, such as ASEAN’s centrality, the Quad and India’s stand on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
Internal political constraints dog it currently, but if overcome, South Africa can be a good chairman to BRICS and IORA in 2018. It also has a tough balancing act to perform between two great Asian powers, China and India
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 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
The Trans-Pacific Partnership has dropped strong Intellectual Property Rights regulations on India’s doorstep. The implications of these regulations could affect India’s own policies, as well as her global aspirations towards the potential Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
The U.S.-driven Trans Pacific Partnership agreement between 12 countries, which is aiming to become the new standard of world trade, impacts domestic systems globally. For India, it will skew investment and intellectual property rights, and especially the debate over the Investor State Dispute System which allows companies to challenge sovereign rights and public policy.
Although it is too soon to comprehensively analyse the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement of October 5, it is worth assessing what is known. Here are the facts, the controversies, the assessments, and the implications for countries that are not part of the agreement, especially India.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership might soon be concluded if the U.S. Congress fast-tracks it, as recently announced, while the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement remains on slow-track. But the TPP, although ambitious, follows an outdated template, and it is the dynamic RCEP that can be a model for a new global rules-based framework