New mantra: Don’t just look east, Act East

Looking East is no longer enough. It’s time for India to Act East – this was the overarching message emanating from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s August 24-25 visit to Vietnam.

In her first meeting with 15 Indian Heads of Mission in Southeast and East Asia in Hanoi, Swaraj directed them to ‘Act East,’ and amplified on the BJP-led government’s strategic intent to scale up India’s ties with the region to a new level, a kind of Look East 3.0 version.

Mapping the way ahead, the brainstorming session on August 26 saw the envoys tossing a host of ideas to galvanize India’s Look East policy, which included buttressing India’s growing role and relevance in the security architecture of Southeast Asia and Indo-Pacific region, including the disputed South China Sea and ways to increase India’s integration in the region through trade, tourism and better connectivity.

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Vietnam is India’s all weather-friend: Vietnam envoy

India’s multifaceted ties with Vietnam are poised to acquire greater strategic and economic weight. The visit of India’s External Affairs Minister to Vietnam August 25-26 is set to impart a fresh momentum to this burgeoning partnership, bound by a confluence of strategic, economic and energy interests. Sushma Swaraj’s trip will set the stage for the state visit by India’s President Pranab Mukherjee to Vietnam in September.

In this exclusive interview with Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief, India Writes Network (, Vietnam’s ambassador to India Nguyen Thanh Tan speaks about Vietnam’s expectations from the forthcoming visit by India’s foreign minister, the growing knowledge partnership between India and Vietnam and predicts an all-round acceleration in bilateral ties in days to come.

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