Geo-Economics Of Two Quads

Synopsis: Both Quads offer tremendous opportunities to India. But India has to be cautious and maintain its relations with non Quad countries in the region.

Introduction

Recently, the US, India, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) decided to launch a new Quadrilateral Economic Forum to have shared interests in West Asia. India is already a member of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) with the U.S., Australia and Japan, which have common concerns and shared interests in East Asia.

These East and West Asian groupings can multiply India’s trade possibilities via land and sea.

Read more: Quad Leaders’ Summit – Explained, pointwise
What are the benefits of both Quads?

Ensure regional peace and security: As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would often say, the principal objectives of our foreign policy should be to ensure regional peace and security and “create a global environment conducive to India’s economic development.” Both the East Quad and the West Quad seek to address these precise objectives.

Reinforce maritime economic and security: After 1991, India has re-established its maritime links with the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific regions. Almost all the Indian trade is now happening through the waters around the peninsula. This has recreated ancient maritime links, from Vietnam in the East to Egypt in the West, and has raised the profile of maritime security.

While both Quads reinforce these maritime economic and security interests across the Indian and Pacific Ocean regions, India has been prevented from rejuvenating its land links with Eurasia by the China-Pakistan axis.

Read more: India and the new Quad in West Asia
What has to be done to improve both Quads?

First, both in East and West, the US may prefer the focus to be more on defence and military capability, while India should ensure that its economic interests are prioritised.

Second, India should reassure non-Quad countries in Southeast and West Asia, including Iran, that they remain important partners. India has to stay the course with its policy of multi alignment and multi-engagement in an increasingly multipolar world.

Source: This post is based on the article “Geo-Economics Of Two Quads” published in Times of India on 21st October 2021.

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