Reading Time: 9 mins In recent years, the bilateral ties between India and Japan have been enhanced exponentially due to various mutual interests that arose because of the changing global politics. The recently held 2+2 ministerial meeting between the two nations is one of the very many examples of India’s growing diplomatic relationship with Japan.
Reading Time: 5 mins First Published: Feb 8, 2019 Updates* India’s participation in the mega-trade agreement, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has long been debated and sentiments around the subject are quite divided and divergent. Critics warned that India must exercise caution before signing RCEP which goes far beyond trade liberalisation to impose a common set of rules on …
Reading Time: 6 mins The bilateral ties between Bhutan and India have always been close and both nations share a ‘special friendship’ and have been through the test of times. India, to date remains influential over Bhutan’s foreign policy, defence, and Commerce. However, India must not exploit this position for its selfish interests and must ensure that there are mutual benefits for both sides.
Reading Time: 8 mins Since time immemorial, Nepal and India have been bonded together through historical, cultural, religious, social, economic and political ties. Yet, there are obvious differences in the interests and views of these neighbours in the current times leading to drift in the relationship. Nepal is strategically important for India and has a high influence on India’s national interests. Therefore, the government must take steps to improve its diplomatic relationship with Nepal.
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The India-Bangladesh bilateral relationship has witnessed unprecedented heights over the last few years. This is because of Bangladesh’s growing geopolitical importance in the current times. Bangladesh is a key player in India’s Act East Policy and Neighbourhood First Policy. India’s ties with Bangladesh can ensure an economic boost to north-eastern India and the absence of terrorism and insurgency in the region. However, there are still a few contentious issues that are affecting India-Bangladesh bilateral ties. India would do well to proactively boost its ties with Bangladesh for its economic growth and for enhancing its presence in the international arena.
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This year, over 20 developing nations had met in New Delhi to look into ways to prevent the World Trade Organisation’s dispute resolution system from becoming defunct. The WTO dispute settlement mechanism is currently going through a crisis as the body is struggling to appoint new members to its highly understaffed Appellate Body. If this is not addressed soon, the Appellate Body may become redundant in the future.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first foreign visit in his second term to Sri Lanka and the Maldives shows the Indian government’s traditional diplomatic emphasis on the “Neighbourhood First” Policy. It is necessary for India to maintain an amicable relationship with its immediate neighbours to achieve its aspiration as a global power as these nations are economically and strategically important. However, for the past few years, India has faced challenges while maintaining bilateral relations with the neighbouring nations. Now, the government is taking measures to address these challenges to obtain a strategic advantage in the region.
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To India, the Persian Gulf plays a vital role in its economy as it supplies nearly two-thirds of India’s total oil import. The bilateral trade with the nations present in this region is also flourishing in recent years. Over the years, millions of Indians have also migrated to the Persian Gulf region in search of jobs and they account for a sizable share in the total remittance received from abroad. Indian External Affairs Ministry refers to this region as West Asia and not as the Middle East which is a more popular attribution in Western countries. India’s policy in West Asia has, in recent times, have become highly cordial despite the numerous differences between various nations within this region. This is because of India’s neutral and flexible approach while interacting with these nations. However, it still faces challenges due to the external influences from major powers like the US. India’s Look West Policy has been enhanced to deal with this complicated issue. This policy has enabled India to maintain strategic autonomy while also pursuing its economic interests.