About the BookThe Association of Southeast Asian Nations, known as ASEAN, came into existence in 1967. In the beginning, India adopted an indifferent attitude towards ASEAN because the original five members were aligned to the West in varying degrees, and India was dedicated to its non-alignment policy. Moreover, New Delhi failed to understand the importance of Southern oceans as a unifying force and continued to distance itself from the regional grouping.
Commencement of the India-ASEAN ties coincided with two major developments—the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the policy of economic liberalisation set in motion by Indian Government, which led to sharpening of focus on ASEAN. It was in 1991 that India’s ‘look East policy’ coincided with ASEAN’s ‘look West policy’. India was made a sectoral dialogue partner in January 1992 and a full dialogue partner in December 1995. A year later, India joined the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and its status was raised to the summit level partner in 2001.
Today, India and ASEAN have joined hands on a whole array of issues, ranging from regional trade and investment cooperation, to interaction on regional security. This partnership is expanding to exciting new fields of science, technology and services. We are finding new ways to share our experiences and areas of expertise. There is a broad recognition of the enormous benefits flowing from greater integration between India and ASEAN. The encompassing vision of such a closer integration is set out in the creation of an India-ASEAN Regional Trade and Investment Area, which would include a Free Trade Area in multi-lateral trade of goods, expansion of services and larger investments.
The book aims at tracing bilateral economic, political and strategic relations between India and ASEAN countries as well as assessing the progress of India-ASEAN relations since the end of Cold War and liberalization of Indian economy. It delves into major issues relating to trade, investment, infrastructure, energy, technology, maritime security, etc. and provides many valuable suggestions to put India-ASEAN relations on fast track.
It will prove useful to the students and teachers of Economics and Political Science, and researchers in these fields. It will also benefit all those concerned with socio-economic development in Southeast Asia, particularly India.About the Author/sPardeep Kumar is Head, Department of Political Science for B.A.LLB (5 years) Course, Geeta Institute of Law, Karhans Samalkha, Panipat, affiliated with Kurukshetra University Kurukshetra. He is the Editor of the Research Journal of the college and has to his credit a number of research papers published in reputed national and international journals. He has also edited a few books.