Act East Policy was recently in news due to the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Myanmar to attend the India-ASEAN Summit and the 18-nation East Asia Summit.
Act East Policy builds upon the Look East Policy that was envisioned in the era of 1990’s under the then Prime Minister of India P V Narsimha Rao.
The need for an Act East Policy was articulated by External Affairs Minister in August 2014 during her visit to Vietnam as slogan Look East is no longer adequate.
The new Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a new dimension to the Look East Policy. It tries to make the initiatives taken under Look East Policy more pro-active and hence it has been termed Look East Policy 2.0 by some defence analysts.
The Act East policy envisages accelerated across-the-board engagement between the two growth poles of a vibrant Asia, that is, India and ASEAN countries.
It also articulates India’s effort aimed at bolstering extensive strategic and economic ties with Southeast Asian countries so as to tap them for greater investment. The investment especially aimed in the infrastructure sector and also to connect trade points in the region.
Commerce, Culture and Connectivity would be the three pillars of India’s robust engagement with ASEAN.
The policy will bring greater economic benefit to the northeastern region in India and would possibly act a counterweight to the influence of China in the region.
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