India’s Act East policy to get cultural and intellectual shine

India’s Act East policy is not simply strategy and business. Taking a long-range view, New Delhi is planning to pitch multifarious cultural linkages to the fore as it moves to transform and reinvigorate this crucial relationship.
Ahead of the next India-ASEAN summit in Malaysia, India has underlined the importance of bolstering cultural linkages to impart a greater resonance to its burgeoning relationship with this enterprising and vibrant region.
Speaking at an international conference on “ASEAN-India Cultural Links: Historical and Contemporary Dimensions” in New Delhi on July 23, Mr Anil Wadhwa, India’s seniormost diplomat handling the region, spoke about ancient cultural linkages that bind India and Southeast Asia.

“India and ASEAN are today at the threshold of a qualitatively more substantive and reinvigorated relationship. As we work to give shape to our Plan of Action for the period 2016 to 2021, setting new goals to move the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership forward, we not only aim to strengthen the third pillar of our engagement, i.e. the socio-cultural pillar, but also wish to bring it to the forefront of our relationship.”

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India’s Enhanced Look East policy takes wing

Look East. And follow the Asian Dream. Intertwining economies, interlinking destinies and creating an arc of prosperity across the region, India’s Look East Policy is cruising along on a higher trajectory. After putting India’s South Asia diplomacy in high gear, the new government in Delhi is now looking East as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj heads to Myanmar, the chair of the 10—nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the 18-nation East Asia Summit (EAS). In Myanmar, the minister will participate in India-ASEAN ministerial meeting, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) foreign ministers’ meeting and East Asia summit ministerial meeting. Put together, these separate but interlinked meetings reflect various facets of India’s Look East policy and will set the tone and tenor for the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Myanmar in November for the India-ASEAN summit and EAS.

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