Five Years of India's Act East Policy
At the 12th ASEAN-India Summit in 2014, the then newly-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled India’s ‘Act-East’ Policy, an upgraded version of the erstwhile ‘Look-East’ Policy. In its first phase that ran parallel to the Modi government’s first term, the policy witnessed a fair amount of progress in various spheres, including connectivity, trade, people-to-people ties, strategic outreach, and so on. However, a lot more remains to be done, particularly within the rapidly evolving geopolitical contexts of South and Southeast Asia, including the competition New Delhi faces from an increasingly assertive China.
At this panel discussion, held in the IPCS Conference Room on 16 December 2019, Dr Amita Batra, Professor, Centre for South Asian Studies, JNU; Dr Udai Bhanu Singh, Senior Research Associate and Coordinator, Southeast Asia and Oceania Centre, IDSA; and Ashutosh Nagda, Researcher, South East Asia Research Programme (SEARP), assessed the Act East Policy as it stands today, from three distinct lenses — political, strategic, and economic — and provided a critical overview of the achievements, gaps, and potentialities. The discussion was moderated by Ambassador (Retd) Rajiv Bhatia, former Indian Ambassador to Myanmar.