South Asia and Beyond

Why Free Trade Still Eludes BIMSTEC

NEW DELHI: As the seven member states of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical & Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) ready for the fifth summit in Sri Lanka in August, the major takeaway of a free trade area (FTA) appears elusive. Discussions over the last 15 years have got nowhere, and under the present Indian […]Read More

India’s Vaccine Diplomacy: The Jab Of Global Goodwill

NEW DELHI: India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ is creating ripples on foreign shores as it has in our near and extended neighbourhood. And as India extends the geographic reach of its vaccine diplomacy—from immediate neighbours like Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives to countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America—China is scrambling to play catch-up. Over 55 […]Read More

India’s Africa Outreach: Need For Greater Calibration

NEW DELHI: The figures are impressive: India has offered nearly $13 billion as lines of credit to 43 African states, 189 projects have been completed while 77 others are under various stages of execution. By any yardstick, India’s “Development Partnership” has given African governments the flexibility of choosing what projects merit priority, and with financing […]Read More

Behind The World’s Largest Repatriation Exercise

NEW DELHI: The Government of India successfully undertook the mammoth repatriation exercise—Vande Bharat—under the shadow of Covid-19, bringing back over five million stranded Indian nationals from across the globe. But not everyone knows it was an “alert” from External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in February last year that galvanized the ministry and different government departments […]Read More

Myanmar Coup: What Happens To India-funded Connectivity Projects?

NEW DELHI: The army coup in Myanmar may have set back India’s ambitious Act East Policy, putting a question mark on completion of key connectivity projects linking the landlocked Northeastern states with Southeast Asia. Delhi has been pushing to complete the already-delayed India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway project and the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project that would […]Read More

Uncertainty Dogs India-Japan Africa Initiative

NEW DELHI: Three years after it was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor is yet to get off the ground. The corridor was touted as the rival to China’s mega trans-continental Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), so the lack of movement is disappointing. “There has been some stalemate in the process… […]Read More