DMPQ- Look East to Act East. Analyse

The Southeast Asian and Indian Ocean littoral nations that retain primary significance for India are Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam, all of which are of increasing strategic importance to India.As Myanmar is the only ASEAN country which India directly borders, the country is of critical importance to India’s security, especially given the serious insurgency-related problems that plague Northeastern India. Myanmar’s abundant natural resources have also attracted Indian firms, some of which are active in hydro-electric power projects, construction of roads and railways, and investment in Myanmar’s energy sector. To strengthen bilateral relations, India has jointly set up several educational institutes, such as: the India-Myanmar Industrial Training Centre, Myanmar-India Centre for English Language; Myanmar-India Entrepreneurship Development Centre; and the Myanmar Centre for Enhancement of IT Skills.

India’s relations with Indonesia have expanded rapidly over the last decade. In 2005, the two countries signed a Bilateral Strategic Partnership Agreement, followed by a defence cooperation agreement in 2006. India’s interests in accessing energy reserves have become increasingly important in shaping relations with Indonesia. Presently, India is Indonesia’s most significant buyer of crude palm oil; Indonesia provides nearly half of India’s coal imports; and up to 40 Indian companies are reportedly active in Indonesia’s mining and exploration industry.

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