‘Act East’ & ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policies To Have Reinforcing Impact Beyond South Asia : Union Minister – Jaishankar 


  • NET Web Desk

The Union Ministry of External Affairs – S Jaishankar today asserted that ‘Act East’ and ‘Neighbourhood First’ policies will have an massive reinforcing impact on the nation, beyond the confines of South Asia; and enable North-eastern states to emerge as the “centre of regional economy”.

Addressing the Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence (NADI) conclave today in Guwahati, Jaishankar mentioned that this can be realized from the potential of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).

He claims that land connectivity via Myanmar and sea connectivity through Bangladesh will open up all routes to Vietnam and Philippines, he said.

“Once this becomes commercially feasible, it will establish an East-West lateral with far-reaching implications for the continent. It will not only strengthen ties with ASEAN countries and Japan, but will also contribute to the development of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework,” – he added.

“If we can just get the politics and economics correct, we can surely transcend geography and recreate history,” he remarked.

This ambition, according to Jaishankar, may be realised through improving connectivity with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar in order to expand access to ASEAN countries and beyond.

Its worthy to note that the two-days symposium is hosted by Shillong-based think tank Asian Confluence in partnership with the Union External Affairs Ministry, the Assam government’s Act East Policy, of the Affairs Department, the North Eastern Council (NEC), and other partners.

The conclave has been designed to articulate & activate a collective vision of sub-regional cooperation in the Bay of Bengal with Southeast Asia, keeping northeast India and Assam at the epicenter of activity.

NADI 2022 aims to bring together all major stakeholders, including the government, the diplomatic community, scientists, corporations, civil societies and diverse riparian communities to brainstorm specific actions in fostering a people-centric regional narrative on sharing riverine resources for sustainable development.