Tobunken-Seminar "Can Northeast India Serve As A Bridge Between India And The ASEAN?"

We are delighted to announce that Dr Rupakjyoti Borah (Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), National University of Singapore) is going to give a seminar. 

Date & Time: Tuesday the 24th October 2017, 17:00-18:00

Venue: Lobby, on the ground floor, the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo

Title: Can Northeast India Serve As A Bridge Between India And The ASEAN?


Northeast India has lagged behind most other parts of the country in terms of development. However, India’s “Act-East Policy” (known earlier as the “Look-East Policy”) offers new hope to the Northeast, as New Delhi increases its engagement with countries in the ASEAN region. India is investing in improving infrastructure in Myanmar and is also constructing a road known as the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) trilateral highway, which is expected to be operational by 2020. In the future, there are also plans to connect it with pre-existing highways and take it all the way to Vietnam.

This presentation aims to look at how Northeast India is now turning over a new leaf and how it can become a bridge between India and the ASEAN region? At the same time, it will look at the immense challenges that confront the Northeastern states. In addition, it will also look at the Japanese involvement in Northeast India. During the visit of Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to India earlier in September this year, the two countries “welcomed the India-Japan cooperation on development of India’s North Eastern Region (NER) as a concrete symbol of developing synergies between India’s Act East policy and Japan’s Free and Open Indo Pacific Strategy.”

In May this year, when Chinese President Xi Jinping formally announced his Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing, India did not take part in the same, owing to sovereignty issues. Hence, it becomes all the more important for New Delhi to step up its physical connectivity with the ASEAN region and Northeast India’s location is sine qua non to these efforts, more so as India celebrates 25 years of its dialogue partnership with ASEAN this year.