Eastern Interest collaborated with Ruang international to bring forward an Indo-Pacific Regional Webinar exploring ‘India ASEAN: Past, Present and Future’. The ‘Association of the Southeast Asian Nations-ASEAN’ functions as the ‘red thread of fate’ in the Indo-Pacific region and this webinar looks at its relation with India to configure its past, understand its present and to foretell its future.
Consisting of two panels, the first ‘Maintaining ASEAN Sovereignty and what role can India and Indonesia play’ was a lineup of experts contributing their adept insights. While the second panel namely ‘India ASEAN Relations in the Post-Covid World’ was a board of fresh energetic outlooks by nascent scholars.
‘Maintaining ASEAN Sovereignty and what role can India and Indonesia play’
Dr. Pankaj Jha from India, the first speaker made a careful chess play with the introduction of the history of ASEAN, alluding briefly to the related foreign policy, geopolitics, defense and security, and propelled the webinar into an intriguing session.
Dr. Angel Damayanti from Indonesia, proceeded to weave Indo-Pacific Connectivity and the role of ASEAN. She highlighted the significance of this region, emphasizing the concerning Maritime Policies of the Indo-Pacific states and its effects, and concluded on ASEAN’s role and future as leader.
Dr. Gautam Kumar Jha (India) provided a detailed historical linkage of India and Indonesia, reasoning this to be the current forte of these two nations into building a successful future together. Stressing upon how similar these two nations are, and the related cultural heritage, he perceived their interrelations would have a positive result with ASEAN’s future.
Aristyo Rizka Darmawan (Indonesia) delved into the maritime security, observing the geopolitical scenario considering China, US and its repercussions. India, he professed has a strong potential to become an important partner of Indonesia and both consequently could become influential to ASEAN.
Moderated by Amrita Dhillon (India), this session was knit into a fruitful reproduction of the various, interesting and deep insights towards the future of India ASEAN relation.
‘India ASEAN Relations in the Post-Covid World’
Mr. Mohit Kumar (India) began the session with impactful insights on connectivity, culture and commerce. Looking upon various aspects such as imports – exports stance, security and economic interests of India, he also urged the necessity of socio-cultural co-operation as an important facet of Indo-ASEAN relations.
Mr Muhammad Rizal Saanun (Indonesia) probed into tackling the impact of the pandemic both regional and political. Taking into account the challenges that can emerge for future cooperation, he also relayed the opportunities that India and ASEAN can reap nonetheless.
Ms. Kavita Sewada (India), emphasized on India’s Look East policy and how it could manifest as Act East policy. She proceeded to conjecture that connecting North East India with other ASEAN countries would be the bridge for development of these states. Not forgetting China’s presence in the region, India ASEAN relations is the key relation in India’s foreign policy.
Mr, Daniel Areldy Ritiauw (Indonesia) along with brief historical references and a report of the current scenario, touching upon multilateralism and geopolitics, included China’s action and impact on India ASEAN relations.
Moderated by Ellya Dameria Enesca (Indonesia), this session discovered the vibrant new outlooks of these budding scholars. With the looming threat of the pandemic, these predictions are all a variable to be considered for the future.
As one of the scholars put it – ‘Joseph Nye said that globalization drove relations between third world countries. Thus India should see ASEAN as its strategic interest region’.