The following speech was delivered at the Inaugural Session of the International Conference on Emerging Horizons in India-Vietnam Relations, in Delhi, on 3 July. Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Gateway House chaired this session.
The Modi government’s shift in policy since 2014 has not been a merely semantic one: the prime minister systematically enlarged the scope of the Look East Policy to include the whole of East Asia and not just the ASEAN. He showed his keenness to enhance trade and investment ties and took a stand on key issues, such as the regional security architecture. With the geopolitical situation in a state of flux, India has to now redesign its policy to develop a multi-dimensional relationship with ASEAN and ensure peace in East Asia.
China’s resurrection of the ancient Silk Road is ambitious, sprawling, hegemonic. Its pre-European origins, though, lay in a criss-crossing of nameless caravan routes on which Indian cotton was traded as vigorously as Chinese silk, tangible proof of the interdependence of two ancient civilisations over two millennia
India-EU space collaboration is still nascent largely due to the EU’s limited autonomy over its space programme. Astro-geopolitics, an inevitable successor to geopolitics, requires confidence-building and furthering strengthening of bilateral linkages
With common objectives in the Indo-Pacific, the maritime sphere is a good opportunity for India and the EU to deepen cooperation. They must focus on preventing outbreak of an inter-state armed conflict; addressing maritime piracy; adhering to the UNCLOS; and developing maritime infrastructure and the blue economy in the region
Security studies provides the framework for anticipating and analysing threats. While foreign policy offers fitting strategies to respond to these threats and address potential issues. Both contribute fundamentally to the other, making it important for both fields to be developed and studied.
India’s gas consumption is lower than the EU’s, but it too, like the EU, relies heavily on imports. With LNG likely to remain a key part of India’s gas supplies in the future, and given recent changes in the global market, what is the future potential of LNG imports for the EU and India? What are the best energy policies for the two regions?
The historic role of Bombay (as it was then called) as a hub for banking, commerce, trade, and shipping, and its financial clout a 100 years ago, are little known today. With the city scheduled to soon open an international financial services centre, it is worthwhile to recall and integrate this legacy with Mumbai’s present strengths in order to attract global capital to its IFSC
At a time when New Delhi is beginning to not just ‘Look East’ but also ‘Act East’, and when parallel integrative processes are underway globally, including the ASEAN-led process, the incipient China-led process and the U.S.-led TTP, India and ASEAN could together produce a brilliant new era of Asian integration
In the last seven decades since independence, successive prime ministers have ushered in changes in India’s foreign policy in response to shifting global geopolitical dynamics, aggregating transformation in bilateral relations. This overview places the past against the changes being brought in by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a more forceful foreign policy practitioner than his predecessors