Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Economic and Political Cooperation between India and East Asia: The Emerging Perspective

Chakraborty, Anushree and Chakraborty, Debashis (2017): Economic and Political Cooperation between India and East Asia: The Emerging Perspective.

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After initiating the economic liberalization policies in 1991, India adopted a ‘Look East Policy’ (LEP) with the dual objective of securing economic growth and maintaining maritime security. Cooperation with East Asia received further boost, when the ‘Act East Policy’ (AEP) came into effect during the maiden visit of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi at the ASEAN-India Summit in 2014, which emphasizes on practicing more action-oriented policy towards ASEAN and the wider East Asia. As a result of the policy shift and through the other initiatives like Make-in-India, India’s trade and investment linkages with East Asia is on the rise. In 2015, the Prime Minister visited five East Asian countries at various occasions. There have been other high level diplomatic visits to the East, followed by the appropriate diplomatic channels. Therefore, AEP has brought a great sense of speed and priority in engaging with the East and Southeast Asian countries. On maritime front, China’s nine-dash line doctrine generated strategic concerns both in East and Southeast Asia and India has emerged as a strategic player in the region through joint naval exercises and capacity buildings with partner countries. Given the recent reservations expressed by Beijing against the ruling by the international tribunal in The Hague, India’s maritime security initiatives in East Asia is likely stay relevant in coming days. The current paper examines the future for India-East Asia relations in days to come, especially in the current geo-political set-up.

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