AboutAct East Policy is an upgrade policy to focus on strengthening and extending India’s friendly relationship in Asia Pacific region. Asia Pacific Region covers Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam, ASEAN (Australia, Singapore and Association of Southeast Asian Nations), and the Republic of Korea, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and East Asia Summit (EAS).
- Under the leadership of India’s 15th Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj( Foreign Minister of India ) during her visit to Singapore purposed a new outlook “Act East Policy “ as look East policy is no longer working.
- At a very starting, Modi government made it clear that India would focus more on escalating relations with ASEAN and other East Asian countries. When United State got engaged in “pivot to Asia “, this makes Modi Government smoothen India’s relation with East Asia neighbours foreign policy a priority.
- Objective of Act East Policy is “to promote cultural and economic cooperation’s and strategies relation with Asia- Pacific regions countries “. This policy also focuses on India’s Northeast region means state like Arunachal Pradesh connection with East countries. So in order to strengthen the connectivity between North East region of India and other Asia Pacific Region various bilateral and regional plans were implemented. These plans include Trades, Cultural activities, people with people contacts and physical infrastructures ( i.e. roads, airports, power, etc. )
- Various multilateral Organizations like Mekong- Ganga Cooperation and BIMSTEC developed by India in order to further extend and tighten cooperation, strategies affairs, environmental and economic development.
- Commerce, Culture and Connectivity are the three 3 C’s pillars of India’s Act East Policy towards South East Asia and East Asia. Act East Policy can be said to an more or less an upgrade version of Look east policy. At 12th ASEAN India Summit and 9th East Asia Summit held in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, in Nov 2014. PM Narendra Modi formally Enunciatulated the Act East Policy.
- By cultural Connection, India will nourish this growing relationship with ASEAN.
- Buddhist and Hindu links could be deepening to flowering the bonds between peoples. India is also opening 10 ASEAN nations’ consulates in Guwahati, Assam. This would be a gateway to North East to ease connectivity.
- Initiatives like building transport, highways, waterways encouraging airways are been taken to enhances connectivity between East countries with North East part of our country India. Budhi Gandaki dam- Nepal, myitsone dam- Myanmar are a part of increasing connectivity with ASEAN nations.
- India invited ASEAN members to participate in the International Solar Alliance. International solar Alliance was coco-launchedn collaboration with France in COP 21 in Paris. A committee “ASEAN INDIA TRADE NEGOTIATION” has been formulated to look into the “ASEAN-India Trade in Good Agreement. This committee is formulated with aim to make trade more strong with ASEAN members.
Projects under AEP to strengthen relations
- Rhi-Tiddum Road project
- Border haats
- BCIM-EC ( Bangladesh, China , India and Myanmar – economic corridor)
- Kaladan Multi-Model Transit Transport Project
- Nuclear Deal
- IORA (India ocean rim association ) , etc.
- Act East policy is an complete upgrade verison of “Look East Policy” which was implemented in early 90’s during the tenure of PM P.V. Narashimha Rao (1991- 1996 ). The look east policy further continued by Atal Bihari Vajpaee( 1998- 2004 ) and then by Man Mohan Singh (2004- 2014). The motto of look east policy was to only strengthen economic growth in North East and to focus on South East Asia Economics trends.
Difference between Look East and Act East policy
Look East Policy
- Limited to economic interest only
- This policy was limited to South East Asia region only
Act East policy
- Focus on not only on economic but also on security and cultural activities.
- Policy extended to South East Asia and East Asia regions.
- India is not a member of ASEAN but it is a dialogue partner.
- Headquarter of international Solar alliance is in gurugram, India.
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