The Narendra Modi led government took the very affirmative step to extend India’s decades-old ‘Look East’ policy into a more proactive ‘Act East’ approach.
The objective is quite simply to ensure that while India’s ties with the Western world continue on a fast-track, we do not lose sight of what is right on our doorstep. As the largest democracy and one of the most inspirational economic success stories of the 21st century, India has a series of natural affinities within the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations [ASEAN] which includes some key heavyweights like Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar and Cambodia.
On a more concrete level the action-packed policy revolves around special purpose vehicles for project financing, building information highways, and ensuring the ASEAN countries are important players in India’s economic transformation.
A formal Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is now firmly in place and the potential to hike bilateral trade in the region from around $50 billion is enormous.
Beyond the ASEAN region, there are some crucial partnerships already in the works with Australia, China, Japan and South Korea and clearly Asia-Pacific is firmly on India’s geopolitcal radar.
The vision has been spelt out and as part of this hub we intend to track every move that gets ‘Act East’ into action.