In the bedrock of India’ foreign policies lies the concept of Non-alignment. 21st century is witnessing a paradigm shift from Geopolitics to Geo-economics as economic policies are defining the international relations. India’s increasing economic clout has made its foray from Asia to global stage.
Cold War Era
During Cold war period India chose to act independently by refusing to align with any bloc or alliance. India has been abhorrent towards joining any multilateral forum in past but the new government has shown greater interest for multilateral Institutions by Joining AIIB, SCO, Trilateral engagement with US and Japan and shown interest for APEC and other multilateral organizations.
The new underpinning in our International relation is that though we are joining multilateral organization laid by certain power block but we are balancing it out by having a renewed engagement with the opposite block. The present policy is envisaged as “Neo- multilateralism” where we engage proactively based on common interest. The present dispensation believes that a robust economic engagement will lead to a strengthened geo-political position. India’ newly rechristened “Act East Policy” is a step towards this direction. In past we were ambivalent towards joining certain multilateral organization like Sanghai Cooperation organization (SCO) but we have shaded those apprehensions for a cooperative engagement in the new emerging global order. India has stepped up its engagement with Iran by investing in Chabahar which will serve as a gateway to Central Asian countries through the International North-South Transport Corridor". Relation has warmed with United States from Cold War-era distrust and estrangement. India has signed multiple trade agreement with major economies of the world to deepen its economic ties.
What we have
The rapid growth of the Indian economy over the past two decades has led to a substantial expansion of India’s middle class. As the world is witnessing a slackening demand, India hold’s a great prospect due to its burgeoning middle class. Developed countries are in the phase saturation and the new demand will emanate from emerging markets like India. Government world over are looking to tap this opportunity for their domestic companies and India on other hand requires huge investment in basic and critical infrastructure. Indian urban centers are choking due to rapid urbanization. India needs to invest in education and healthcare to harness the demographic dividend otherwise it will be a demographic catastrophe. Indian government to this regard is encouraging foreign participation in its flagship programmes like “Smart Cities” and “Digital India”.
India is redefining its international relations based on its domestic interest of providing education, employment, better medical facilities and green environment to its inhabitants. India cannot afford to remain reluctant as it is on the cusp of a structural transition. This new international order finds its overture in double coincidence of wants between developed and developing nation. India believes in peaceful resolution of international disputes, and international cooperation to spur economic development.