Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Analyse the prospects and challenges of India’s ‘Act East Policy’ in the context of India-ASEAN relations

Analyse the prospects and challenges of India’s ‘Act East Policy’ in the context of India-ASEAN relations

The prospects and challenges of India’s ‘Act East Policy’ in the context of India-ASEAN relations  India Act East Policy was unveiled by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, at the 12th ASEAN-India Summit in 2014 held in Myanmar. Act East Policy is that the successor of Look East Policy.


Look East Policy

In order to get over the loss of the strategic partner -USSR (end of the conflict 1991), India sought to create up a relationship with the USA and allies of the USA in Southeast Asia .

In this pursuit, former Prime minister of India P V Narasimha Rao launched Look East policy in 1992, to offer a strategic push to India’s engagement with South-East Asia region.

India’s Act East Policy was unveiled at the 12th ASEAN-India Summit in 2014 held in Nay Pyi Taw. In his Opening Statement on the occasion, Modi said: “A new era of economic development, industrialization and trade has begun in India. Externally, India's 'Look East Policy' has become 'Act East Policy’." At now of your time , The prospects and challenges of India’s ‘Act East Policy’ in the context of India-ASEAN relations  the 2nd Plan of Action (POA) or the 2010-2015 Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity, was operational . This was adopted by the leaders of the ASEAN Member States and India at the 8th ASEAN India Summit held in Hanoi, Vietnam on 30 October 2010.

This was followed by the 3rd POA or the 2016-2020 Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity. It aims to pursue the goals set forth within the POA for subsequent five years (2016-2020) and seeks to create on the achievements made within the implementation of the previous POA. Within this POA, the 2 sides had drawn an inventory of priority areas for the amount 2016-2018. In his Opening Statement at the 14th ASEAN-India Summit, at Vientiane, Laos on 8 September 2016, Prime Minister Modi stated that “the ASEAN India Plan of Action for the amount 2016-2020 has served us well in fulfilling our objectives. we've already implemented 54 out of 130 activities identified within the Plan of Action.”

The 2010-2015 POA laid out three broad areas of cooperation — Political and Security Cooperation; Economic Cooperation and Socio-Cultural Cooperation. It provides a transparent follow-up mechanism “to review the progress of implementation of the Plan of Action through the prevailing mechanism of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations” and provides for submission of progress reports on the implementation to the annual ASEAN-Post Ministerial Conference with India  and therefore the annual ASEAN-India Summit.


Political and Security Cooperation

The prospects and challenges of India’s ‘Act East Policy’ in the context of India-ASEAN relations PM Modi speaking during the ASEAN-India Breakfast Summit in Singapore on 15 November 2018 (chaired by Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong) stressed on a number of the most tenets of India’s Act East Policy — ASEAN Centrality; ASEAN’s consensus driven approach; support for an open and inclusive regional security architecture (based on ASEAN centrality), besides the economic elements of the connection .


India and ASEAN are cooperating within the following security-related fields:

Counter-terrorism: by sharing best practices and knowledge , enforcement and capacity building (under existing ASEAN-led mechanisms);

Cyber-security capacity building, policy coordination and CBMs, including by implementing ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy and ARF Work Plan on Security of and within the Use of data and Communication Technologies;

Maritime Cooperation between India and ASEAN takes place via existing ASEAN-led mechanisms just like the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) for the aim of higher coordination in search and rescue, to stop and manage accidents/incidents stumped in accordance with ICAO and IMO guidelines.

India participated within the 3rd EAMF in Danang, Vietnam, on 27-28 August 2014. India has also successfully organised the 2nd ASEAN-India Workshop on Blue Economy in New Delhi on 18 July 2018. India has strengthened its bonds of maritime cooperation and connectivity with the region. India’s vision of Security and Growth for beat the Region (SAGAR) has been recognised by ASEAN. there's congruence of views on the importance of a rules-based order within the region, including through upholding law of nations like the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the ocean . The prospects and challenges of India’s ‘Act East Policy’ in the context of India-ASEAN relations , This has meant a reaffirmation of the “importance of maintaining and prioritising peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation, in and overflight above, the SCS”.

Modi joined EAS leaders within the adoption of 5 EAS Statements, viz., Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Returnees; Marine Plastic Debris; Smart Cities; Safe and Secure use of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials; ICT and Digital Economy. especially , Modi hoped that the understanding on counter-terrorism would move beyond statements to more practical cooperation.

India’s support for ASEAN centrality was clearly evident when it elevated the connection to the Strategic Partnership level following the ASEAN-India Vision Statement 2012. India actively participates in ASEAN-led mechanisms to deal with security challenges (both traditional and non-traditional). This includes the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN PMC+1 with India, East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), ASEAN-India Senior Officials’ Meeting and ASEAN-India Joint Cooperation Committee. additionally , it participates in other sub-regional forums like Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), and therefore the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) forum.

India has supported and promoted the shared values and norms as enshrined within the ASEAN Charter, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) and therefore the EAS Declaration on the Principles of interdependent Relations (Bali Principles), for developing regional security architecture. to the present end, India features a dedicated Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta. Then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh announced India’s decision to appoint a separate Ambassador to ASEAN at the 11th India-ASEAN Summit in Brunei on October 1, 2013. supported this decision, Mr. Suresh K. Reddy became the primary Resident Ambassador of Indian Mission to ASEAN on January 15, 2015 and therefore the Mission started working from its new Chancery premises in Jakarta from January 2015 onwards. India found out its own ASEAN-India Centre, and for several years held the annual Delhi Dialogue conference.


Economic Cooperation

India was ASEAN’s sixth largest trading partner in 2017. Trade between India and ASEAN was over $ 81 billion in 2017-2018 and constitutes 10 per cent of India’s total trade. India’s strength lies in its services sector. The ratification process of the Agreement on trade Services under the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between ASEAN and India is already completed. The aim of the agreement is to “fully tap the potential, offered by the vast markets of ASEAN and India through the effective implementation of the ASEAN-India trade Area, and therefore the operationalization of the ASEAN-India Trade and Investment Centre.”

The prospects and challenges of India’s ‘Act East Policy’ in the context of India-ASEAN relations , It is hoped that the RCEP negotiations, which are in their end and expected to be concluded in 2019, will end in the world’s largest trading bloc (40 per cent of worldwide GDP). Domestic manufacturers and also some international trade experts in India advise cautious approach to RCEP given the very fact that India already faces deficit with many RCEP members, including with China, South Korea, Indonesia, and Australia. The aim is in fact , to foster a “global trade environment that's open, interdependent , rules based and inclusive.”

India is committed to connectivity (land, air and maritime) cooperation with ASEAN in line with the Masterplan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, which was adopted on 6 September 2016. Once the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway Project is completed, it might be extended to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.