Economic Relations

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  • BRICS Baby Steps: The Challenges Ahead

    Now that NAM is defunct and very little wealth is left in the Commonwealth, and given that the G-20 has a set parameter and doesn’t encompass the aggregate of the hopes and aspirations of the developing world, India should use the BRICS forum to project its global profile.

    March 22, 2013

    Sunil Meruva asked:What is the significance of RCEP for India? What will be the implications of its FTA with China for the Indian economy?

    Jagannath P. Panda replies: Debates and dialogues across Asia continue over the process of East Asia economic integration. These discussions continue in the backdrop of the United States ‘pivot’ Asia policy, and continuing tensions over disputes in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, which is touching new climax. The main thrust behind the East Asian economic integration has been ASEAN+6 Agreement and the East Asian Summit (EAS); where the aim and idea is to build a stable Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP) among the countries in Asia. The ASEAN+6 RECP is aimed at transforming the region by higher economic growth through more cross-border trade and investment. Among these developments, the India-ASEAN relationship seems to be on constant move and on ascendancy. The relationship between India and the ASEAN seems to be touching new realities, with up-gradation of relationship to strategic partnership during the December 2012 India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit.

    India would like ASEAN+6 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to materialize as soon as possible. This will help in furthering the aims and objectives of India’s own Look-East Policy. RCEP will have huge trade potential. In real practice, RCEP once formalized, is supposed to emerge as the most effective and largest free-trade bloc in the world. It will bring ten ASEAN countries and other six countries (China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand) together. These six members have FTAs with the ASEAN currently. If it materializes, it is supposed to be one of the most vital free-trade blocs in the world; the combined geo-political resources would put the grouping into a totally different league, making it the most important economic grouping of the world. The idea of RCEP negotiations is a new one; and was mainly discussed during the East Asian Summit in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) in November 2012.

    Clubbing with the ASEAN has been a principal policy priority for both China and India. At present, while China has clubbed with the ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+6, India is clubbed only under the ASEAN+6 framework. Compared with India, the Chinese have always enjoyed closer contact with the ASEAN through a versatile engagement policy that includes building up a variety of economic, political and cultural linkages. Officially, China wants to promote and has asked for ‘ASEAN’s leading role in regional cooperation’ in East Asia under ASEAN+1 or ASEAN+3 frameworks. Beijing has developed and pushed for a range of ‘practical cooperation’ in the fields of infrastructure, connectivity, trade and economy, capital and information, transport and people-to-people exchanges. The former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had pointed out recently that, in 2010, ‘China became ASEAN’s biggest trading partner [...] launched the largest FTA among developing countries and [ . . . ] set the target of $500 billion in two-way trade by 2015’. India must take a serious note of this Chinese intent, and accordingly maximize its trade and economic contacts with the region.

    Expansion of the Karakoram Corridor: Implications and Prospects

    Expansion of the Karakoram Corridor: Implications and Prospects

    The Paper examines Chinese transport projects in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in general and Gilgit-Baltistan in particular and their impact on local and regional economy and security. China and Pakistan are in the process of expanding the Karakoram Corridor in Gilgit-Baltistan which primarily serves the political and strategic interests of both countries with negligible benefits to the local people.

    The Second India-China SED

    The SED is an important forum that can render valuable service to the cause of greater economic cooperation and work like an effective confidence building measure.

    November 30, 2012

    On East Asian Regional Integration from the Perspective of Economic Security

    In view of putative conflict for leadership in the region between China and Japan, and barriers in various initiatives for deepening and stabilizing regional financial markets, the economic-security discourse in East Asia is still facing an uncertain prospect and should be continually monitored.

    October 23, 2012

    Chinese Inroads into Bhutan: Diplomatic Gimmick or Strategic Reality?

    The question of Sino-Bhutan diplomatic relations, which is essentially linked to a settled boundary line between the two countries, is a matter of strategic choice for Bhutan.

    August 14, 2012

    India and US Rebalancing Strategy for Asia-Pacific

    In the light of the US rebalancing strategy in the Asia-Pacific, the Indian dilemma is how to boost its relationship with the US that can provide an impetus to its economy and defence capability building without antagonising China.

    July 09, 2012

    Evaluating the Political and Economic Role of the IRGC

    The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is Iran's most powerful security and military organisation, responsible for the protection and survival of the regime. Over time, the IRGC has attained a position of dominance vis-à-vis the regular army (Artesh). In due course, the Guards have also been transformed into a leading political and economic actor. The major political role of the IRGC started with the election of the reformist presidency. However, the Guards' involvement in the Iranian economy began during Rafsanjani's presidency.

    July 2012

    The Delhi Investment Summit on Afghanistan

    The main objective of the summit is to attract foreign investment in Afghanistan, particularly in the context of emerging opportunities in sectors like mining, hydrocarbons, infrastructure, telecommunications, agriculture, education, health services, etc.

    June 26, 2012

    Indo-Pak Relations: Peace Paroxysms Strike Again

    Instead of taking leave of its senses every time someone from across the border coos sweet nothings, India needs to set metrics by which to judge Pakistan and then take steps to reciprocate any positive measures from the other side.

    May 14, 2012