India and Brunei have a 34-year-old diplomatic relationship; but as yet no Indian president or prime minister has paid the country a bilateral visit to strengthen these ties. The strategically-located nation is rich in its history, with a unique political system. Its foreign policy approach is non-controversial, yet noticeably pragmatic.
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.
Indian and Chinese companies routinely bid against each other in their quest to secure oilfields and other resource pools resulting in rising prices. However, a preferable recourse would be for the nations, along with ASEAN, to collaborate as there is enough for all
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?