Act East Policy And Northeast

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Act East Policy And Northeast

The establishment of “Act East Policy” would reinforce North-Eastern India’s economic and social conditions as well as enhance trade ties between India and South-East Asian countries. The key objective of this strategy is to restore political bonds, to improve cooperation on regional security and trade ties with Southeast Asia. Due to its cultural and historical relations and strategic location in South-East Asia, the role of the Northeast region has increased in this agenda. The strategy and its possibilities are published in deep Northeast

In his first official visit to Thailand last year on 2nd November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that under the Act East Policy, Northeast India is being established as an entrance into South-East Asia. He further added that preparations for smooth networking between Thailand, Myanmar and northeast India in the years to come are being made. Our main goal is to connect north-east India with Thailand.

Northeast is being established as a gateway. Modi said in his speech at the Sawasdee PM Modi event in South-East Asia, on the day of his visit to South-East Asia (ASEAN), East Asia (EAS) and RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) Summits that his initiative would enormously improve the East Policy Act of India and Thailand’s West Policy Act. The Act  East Policy has for a while been a topic of debate and emphasis. It has generated optimism in the Northeast region, both in terms of cultural, social and geographical terms, close to Southeast Asia. With the creation of the Act East Policy Branch, the government will sense the seriousness of carrying out the concept as soon as possible to ensure the execution of Act East Policy on a timely basis. The strategy is not merely a change from “west” to “east” from mainland India to northeast India, an area that the centre is historically meant to ignore. Act East Policy is a modern spatial imagination with many prospects in the North-East India and Southern Asia zone. This modern imagination has given the people of the North-East much optimism and inspiration as it replaced the impression that North-East India is a peripheral.

This policy’s formulation and development indicate that India had sensed the change in influence, as needed in the Asia-Pacific region, between “west” and “east.”


  • The Objective of ”Act East Policy” is to promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop
  • Strategic relationship with countries in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Continuous engagement at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels thereby providing enhanced
  • Connectivity to the States of North Eastern Region
  • The North East of India has been a priority in the Act East Policy (AEP).
  • AEP provides an interface between North East India and the ASEAN region.
  • Some of the major projects include Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project, the IndiaMyanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway Project, Rhi-Tiddim Road Project, Border Haats, etc.
  • Apart from ASEAN, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and East Asia Summit (EAS), India has also been
  • Actively engaged in regional fora such as BIMSTEC, Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), Mekong
  • Ganga Cooperation (MGC) and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
  • Closer cooperation in combating terrorism, collaborating for peace and stability in the region and
  • Promotion of maritime security based on international norms and laws are being pursued.


  • There has to be a master plan for linking all the North-eastern states together with a network of
  • Road, rail and air links.
  • Bangladesh is also increasingly open to reviving the old river navigation routes, which were the
  • Main transport links in undivided eastern India.
  • India has recognized that success of AEP will be determined by its contribution to security and
  • Economic development of Northeast India.

 It was in the 1990s that the concept evolved. In 1991, in the midst of the Cold War and also in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union, PV Narasimha Rao introduced the Look East strategy. The strategy has also been described as ‘a flexible and multi-faceted approach to create strategic relations with a wide variety of individual countries, to develop stronger political connections with ASEAN and to establish strong economic links with the region.’ The focus of the strategy was on moving the trade focus from western and neighbouring countries to the booming countries of South East Asia.

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