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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Q. India should focus nearer East: Why India needs to focus on its nearer eastern countries like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam?
Jun 23, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :


India’s nearer eastern countries like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) are very important for India from strategic as well as economic point of view. Though India has made some headway with its neighbourhood like central Asia, but in the immediate eastern neighbourhood India’s policies are not impressive when it comes to implementation.


  • In 1991 India has adopted Look East Policy to cultivate extensive economic and strategic relations with the nations of Southeast Asia in order to bolster its standing as a regional power and a counterweight to the strategic influence of the China.
  • Again in 2014 with Act East Policy India has prioritised its relations with East Asian neighbours. The objective of policy is to emphasize more proactive role of India in East Asia.

India’s current status in Easter region-

  • India’s economic engagement with eastern countries like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) is less than satisfactory, in comparison to other countries like China.
  • India’s cumulative investment in two of the large markets in the region, Myanmar and Vietnam, stands at an abysmal low of $1.1 billion and $2.2 billion, during 2011 and 2015.
  • India’s share in total investments in the CLMV region during the above period stands at just 2.4%, which is par below in comparison to India’s engagement with other regions.

Why India should focus nearer East-

  • These regions are very important for strategic and economic perspective for India.
  • Growth rate of these countries is very impressive, hence CLMV countries offer tremendous opportunities for India to access huge markets.
  • CLMV countries would provide access to India, not only for entire Asian landmass but also to Trans-Pacific region.
  • Apart from tapping significant local market, Myanmar could act as gateway to entire Asian region.
  • Vietnam would get direct access to the developing and developed markets of TPP members such as Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and the US, as well as Vietnam.
  • In CLMV countries China has made significant headway, even European and Asia Pacific countries also made significant inroads. They have more economic and strategic engagement with these countries than India.
  • Given the geopolitical conditions, it extremely important for India to focus on these regions on priority basis.


  • India must increasingly push for engaging more with nearer easter region, particularly with CLMV countries so as to benefit not only on the economic front, but also be a constructive and strategic partner in their growth stories.
  • In Vietnam India has made inroads in defence and security, and this needs to be widened economically as well.
  • India should set up, proposed ₹500-crore Project Development Fund (PDF) for catalysing Indian investments in CLMV countries. It will usher in a good amount of Indian investments into the region, possibly in textiles, leather and low-end manufacturing, amongst others.
  • Construction Kaladan multi-modal transit-transport system which connects India’s north-eastern States through Myanmar and Asian region is already delayed. India should work on it to make it operational soon.


In the sphere of foreign policy, always neighbouring countries plays important role. Though India has done tremendous headways in foreign policy in the region, but when it comes to implementation India lacks behind in comparison to others. Considering the current geopolitical conditions and economic and strategic importance of the region India should focus on its nearer east.

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