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 foreign ministers of the Quad countries meet for the first time in New York today even as the Indo-Pacific has turned into a keenly contested geopolitical arena. Some countries are offering to play a mediatory role while other triangular equations are also undergoing change. An analysis of some of the relationships at work here
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
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 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.
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 But the TPP, although ambitious, follows an outdated template, and it is the dynamic RCEP that can be a model for a new global rules-based framework
The Indian Navy, through multi-lateral exercises, is increasing its sphere of influence and becoming a regional force. Yet, it needs to be supported by policy decisions that enable it to achieve its potential as a state-of-the-art establishment and a powerful tool in India’s diplomatic repertoire
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
Gateway House prepared a Global Stability Map, using 20 differing indicators, to analyze the stability of 60 countries around the world. Using criteria that are important to the emerging economies of the world, the map provides an Indian perspective of the world today.
Amidst myriad country groupings that already exist – BRICS, IBSA, APEC, SCO and many others – a new initiative in the Pacific is looking to integrate more powerful countries to form a multilateral free trade agreement – the Trans Pacific Partnership. How important is this towards the reshaping of trade and power?