The role that industry could play in India’s Indo-Pacific outreach

Source: Livemint

Relevance: Understanding industry’s role in furthering India’s outreach in Indo-Pacific

Synopsis: Industry’s contribution towards bolstering India’s interests in the Indo-pacific in the light of the recently held Indo-pacific business summit.

Background

The geostrategic relevance of the Indo- Pacific expanse, has gained prominence over the past year. Nations are seeking to expand their engagement in the region based on the principles of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based architecture with security as a core pillar.

  • The Indo-Pacific region is a vast maritime zone where the interests of many players are engaged: India, Japan, France, and the United States, as well as medium and smaller powers like Australia, Indonesia, and South Africa; there are stakeholders from beyond the region, too.
India’s Indo-pacific strategy
  • India’s Indo-Pacific strategy was articulated by our Prime Minister at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore in 2018 under the ‘SAGAR’ concept of Security and Growth for All in the Region.
  • This was further developed at the East Asia Summit of November 2019, where seven pillars of the Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative were enunciated. These seven pillars are:
    • Maritime security
    • Maritime ecology
    • Maritime resources
    • Capacity building and resource sharing
    • Disaster risk reduction and management
    • Science, technology and academic cooperation
    • Trade connectivity and maritime transport
  • To take forward its call for a free, open, inclusive and connected region, New Delhi has joined and created new partnerships, such as the Quad, Supply Chain Resilience Initiative and various plurilateral configurations.
Also Read: India in the Indo-pacific – Explained
Relevance of Indo-Pacific Business Summit

The recently held Indo-pacific business summit was important in three ways:

  • First event focusing on industry partnerships in the region: It reiterated the relevance of economic engagement and highlighted trade and investment as a common pillar of an overall strategy.
  • Wide participation of govt & pvt sector: The summit saw a wide participation of governments and private sectors across 21 countries. This highlighted how the Indo-Pacific is central to their foreign policies and their desire to deepen their partnership with India.
    • India’s trade with the participating countries has risen by about eight times over the last two decades, with the US, UAE and Singapore as our top export destinations in the region.
  • It outlined the scope of emerging economic partnerships beyond the usual areas of trade and investment.
Areas of cooperation

India highlighted three important areas that the region’s private industry must capitalize on, namely

  • Healthcare, Healthcare infra and medical supplies
  • Digital sector: This includes both physical as well as soft digital infrastructure. Such as Cross-border e-commerce, Data management, cybersecurity and capacity building
  • Green & sustainable development
Way forward

The seven identified pillars of India’s Indo- Pacific strategy centered around maritime engagements can benefit greatly from the participation of industry across the region.

 

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