02 June 2016
India should rejuvenate its ‘Act East policy’ by exploiting the strategic location of the Andaman Islands and the waters around it.
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has been widely hailed for reinvigorating the country’s foreign policy. Undertaking numerous visits, he has reset relations with great powers while simultaneously engaging countries in the near and far neighbourhood. From the perspective of South East Asia, he upgraded India’s ‘Look East’ policy—which previously guided engagement with the region – to an ‘Act East’ policy—signalling a greater enthusiasm to do more.
However, two years into his term, many in the region are wondering whether the two policies are that much different. Prime Ministerial visits are important, but perhaps India needs to think up of new projects and initiatives to signal its willingness to ‘Act East.’ The Andaman Islands and the waters around it offer a potential opportunity.
… Anit Mukherjee is an assistant professor at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 06/06/2016