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What is Act East Policy of India?

Act East Policy:

The Union Minister of State Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) said that connectivity is an important element of Act East Policy.

  • The ‘Act East Policy’ announced in November 2014 is the upgrade of the “Look East Policy”.
  • It is a diplomatic initiative to promote economic, strategic, and cultural relations with the vast Asia-Pacific region at different levels.
  • It involves intensive and continuous engagement with Southeast Asian countries in the field of connectivity, trade, culture, defense, and people-to-people-contact at bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels.
  • Aim: To promote economic cooperation, cultural ties, and developing a strategic relationship with countries in the Indo-pacific region with a proactive and pragmatic approach and thereby improving the economic development of the North Eastern Region (NER) which is a gateway to Southeast Asia Region.

Look East Policy:

  • In order to recover from the loss of the strategic partner -USSR (end of the Cold war 1991), India sought to build up a relationship with the USA and allies of the USA in Southeast Asia.
  • In this pursuit, former Prime minister of India P V Narasimha Rao launched Look East policy in 1992, to give a strategic push to India’s engagement with the South-East Asia region, to bolster its standing as a regional power and a counterweight to the strategic influence of the People’s Republic of China.