China Myanmar Economic Corridor

  • China and Myanmar have moved a step closer on negotiating the China-Myanmar economic corridor.
  • This initiative is being given a high priority on account of the stalled Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) connectivity proposal.
  • The negotiations for the formation of the BCIM corridor have virtually been stalled after Beijing went ahead with its plans to establish the China-Pakistan economic corridor.

Y- shaped corridor

  • China-Myanmar economic corridor will be a Y- shaped corridor.
  • It will start from China’s Yunnan province and head towards Mandalay in Myanmar.
  • From Mandalay, it will extend towards Yangon New City in the East and Kyaukphyu special economic zone (in the Rakhine province) in the West.

Importance of the corridor

The corridor is important for both China and Myanmar in the following ways:

  1. It will enhance the connectivity between the two countries.
  2. It will connect Beijing with the Indian Ocean.
  3. It will accelerate the transfer of China’s industries to Myanmar (Due to the rising cost of labour, overcapacity and industrial development, China has begun to transfer some of its industries abroad).
  4. It will turn Myanmar into an important destination for China and other East Asian countries.
  5. It will create more jobs and bolster development.

Myanmar’s approach

  • Despite a flurry of diplomatic interaction between China and Myanmar in the aftermath of the Rohingya crisis, the Myanmar side is shedding a zero-sum approach and is also actively engaging with India.
  • Myanmar is seeking Indian investments in the central Myanmar region.
  • Myanmar has backed India’s Act East Policy and Neighbourhood First approach that promoted India’s relationship with the ASEAN countries including Myanmar.
  • Recently, India-Myanmar Bilateral Military Exercise (IMBAX-2017) was concluded at the Joint Training Node in Umroi, Meghalaya.
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Everything about INDIA- SINGAPORE Relations.

INDIA- SINGAPORE RELATIONS

• India’s connection with Singapore dates back to the Cholas who are credited with naming the island and establishing a permanent settlement.

• The close relationship shared by India and Singapore is based on convergence of economic and political interests.

• The process of economic reforms in India since the early 1990s created a strong basis for cooperation with Singapore, opening up possibilities for significant presence in each other’s economies.

• Singapore has played an important role in reconnecting us to the countries of South East Asia since the inception of our Look East Policy in the early 1990s.

Political relations

• India was among the first countries to set up diplomatic relations after the independence of Singapore on 24 August 1965.

• Singapore’s Foreign and Law Minister was the first minster from any ASEAN nation to  meet the new government.

• Former Singapore’s PM was awarded Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International understanding in 2004.

Economic relations

• Bilateral Trade has expanded significantly from $ 12.4 million in 1980-81 to $2.18 billion in 2013-14.

• Singapore has emerged as the 2nd largest source of FDI amounting to US$ 31.9 billion (April 2000 – Feb 2015), which is 13% of total FDI inflow.

• Singapore was the largest source of FDI into India for the year 2013-14 overtaking Mauritius.

• Outward Indian FDI to Singapore increased from US $351 million in 2004-05 to US $37.4 billion (April 2015), making Singapore one of the top destinations for Indian investments.

• In June 2005, the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) was signed by India with Singapore.

• Singapore has largest air connections to India with 6 airlines flying 232 weekly services.

Cultural Relations 

• To promote inter-governmental cooperation in culture, a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Arts, Archives and Heritage was concluded in 1993.

• Given the large and diverse Indian community in Singapore, cultural activities receive considerable support from community organizations.

• A number of cultural societies, namely Temple of Fine Arts, Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society, Nrityalaya, Kalamandir, among others, promote Indian classical dance and arts.

• Deepawali is regarded as the premier Indian cultural celebration.

Visa & Consular 

• India introduced a visa requirement for Singapore citizens in 1984 while Singapore introduced it in 1985.

• Tourists from Singapore are allowed ‘eTourist Visa (eTV)’ in select airports in India since 2010 on unilateral basis.

Indian Community 

• Ethnic Indians constitute about 9.1 per cent or around 3.5 lakhs of the resident population of 3.9 million in Singapore.

• Tamil is one of the four official languages of Singapore.

• Approximately two-thirds of the Indian community in Singapore are of Tamil origin. Punjabis, Malayalis and Sindhis are the other major Indian communities

Naval Agreements

• The bilateral agreement for naval cooperation includes:

1 Maritime security

2 Joint exercises

3 Temporary deployments from the naval facilities of each other

4 Mutual logistical support

Logistic Support

• Indian Navy will have a full-fledged logistics facility that is 2,177 km east from its nearest base at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

• This is the first such military logistics agreement with a country east of Malacca indicating a shift eastwards for the Indian Navy.

Lanes of communication

• Both Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea are the key sea lanes of communication.

• India and Singapore should increase their participation and activity in these regions.

• Indian Navy has started its Malacca patrol in June this year to protect the sea lanes of communication (SLOCs).

Choke point of commerce

• The Strait of Malacca is considered a critical choke point for global commerce.

• It is critical for the transportation of natural gas and oil.

• It is seen by China as vulnerable for its energy security.

Strait of Malacca

• It is waterway connecting the Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean) and South China Sea (Pacific Ocean).

• It runs between the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the west and peninsular Malaysia and extreme southern Thailand to the east.

• It has an area of about 25,000 square miles (65,000 square km).

• The Strait derived its name from the trading port of Melaka (formerly Malacca) which was of importance in the 16th and 17th centuries on the Malay coast.

India Japan Strategic Relationship

Strategic partnership:

Defence ties

  • Both the countries have agreed to enhance exchanges between their forces with more bilateral exercises and exchanges in the field of technology at a time when India wants to increase domestic defence production.
  • The Armies of both nations will hold a joint exercise on anti-terrorism in 2018 for the first time.
  • The talks are on to include bilateral training between the two navies and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) training to expand cooperation.
  • Both the countries seek to strengthen cooperation between their Air Forces.

Cooperation in Defence and technology

  • There will be collaboration between Acquisition, Technology and Logistic Agency (ATLA) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for research in the areas of Unmanned Ground Vehicles and Robotics.

Malabar 2017

  • India-US-Japan successfully undertook this trilateral naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal. This is necessary to maintain freedom of navigation in the South China sea to counter Chinese hegemony.

Disaster relief

  • Japan has invited India to participate in a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise held by Japan Ground Self Defence Force as an observer.

Diplomacy

  • 2+2 dialogue between the Foreign Ministries and Defence ministries of both the nations will take place in 2018.

Infrastructure

  • Japan funds many road projects in the Northeast India to help bridge the gap between the strategically important Northeastern states. This would provide trade routes in the region and give it economic-push.
  • Bullet train: Japan is helping India in building bullet trains. It has invested $12 billion for India’s first bullet train from Ahmedabad to Mumbai.

Cooperation in Africa:

  • Japan and its banks are cooperating with India for investment in Africa. This is very important so as to counter China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR).

How will NSG membership help India? 

How will NSG membership help India? 

Clean energy push:

  • India is a growing country with massive energy needs.
  • It has set for itself an ambitious goal of sourcing 40% of its power from non-fossil sources and here is where nuclear energy comes into play.
  • India will need latest technology and NSG membership will come in handy.
  • Though it got a one-time NSG waiver in 2008, the country needs constant access to global markets and a stable trading framework.
  • Being a member of the NSG will also mean that India will have far greater access to uranium than it does currently under its 2008 agreement with the US. For example, Namibia is the fourth-largest producer of uranium and it agreed to sell the nuclear fuel to India in 2009.
  • However, that hasn’t happened, as Namibia has since cited a 2009 African version of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Pelindaba Treaty, which essentially controls the supply of uranium from Africa to the rest of the world.
  • If India joins the NSG, such reservations from Namibia are expected to melt away.

It helps domestic firms:

  • A place on the nuclear trading table will help Indian companies such as the Walchandnar Industries Limited (WIL) and L&T to expand business.
  • India has a robust indigenous nuclear industry that worked mostly in isolation as international sanctions were slapped every time a nuclear test was conducted.
  • An NSG membership will make these companies comply with international norms and make it easier for them to ply their trade abroad.

Make in India:

  • New Delhi and Moscow have announced a plan to build reactors in India to sell them to other countries, a move expected to give a push to the Modi government’s Make in India initiative.
  • It will not only generate jobs but also help in technology development.
  • As an NSG member, India will be better placed to implement the initiative.

End of the nuclear winter:

  • One of the objectives of the 2008 nuclear deal was that the US would help India get into export-control regimes such as the NSG, the MTCR (missile technology control regime), Australia Group and Wassenar Arrangement.
  • As a member of these groupings, India will have access to defence, space and nuclear technologies.
  • The MTCR is done, of the remaining, the NSG is most crucial.
  • Admission to the MTCR will open the way for India to buy high-end missile technology and surveillance drones such as Predator.

10 ‘noble commitments’ for global transformation by PM Modi

10 Commitments and Suggestions:

1. Creating Safer World:

  • It can be achieved by organised and coordinated action on issues like counter-terrorism, cyber security and disaster management.

2. Creating Greener World:

  • It can be achieved by taking concerted action on countering climate change. For e.g initiatives like International Solar Alliance.

3. Creating Enabled World:

  • It can be achieved by sharing and deploying suitable technologies to enhance efficiency, economy and effectiveness.

4. Creating Inclusive World

  • It can be achieved by mainstreaming the people in the banking and financial system.

5. Creating Digital world:

  • It can be achieved by bridging the digital divide within and outside the economies.

6. Creating Skilled World:

  • It can be created by giving future-ready skills to millions of the youths.

7. Creating Healthier World:

  • It can be created by cooperating in research and development to eradicate diseases, and enabling affordable health care for all.

8. Creating Equitable World:

  • It can be achieved by providing equality of opportunity to all, particularly through gender equality.

9. Creating Connected World:

  • The world can be connected by enabling the free flow of goods, persons and services.

10. Creating Harmonious World:

  • The world can by harmonious by promoting ideologies, practices, and heritage that are centered on peaceful coexistence and living in harmony with nature.

Asian Nature Conservation Foundation:

Asian Nature Conservation Foundation:

  • It was established in 1997 as a charitable trust.
  • It has its headquarters at the Innovation Centre office of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
  • It is a small group of conservation scientists, planners, information managers and administrators working together to support the conservation of biological diversity in India.
  • It is actively involved in the conservation of the Asian Elephant, considered to be a keystone species in the biologically rich forests of South and Southeast Asia.

Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES):

Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES):

  • It is the preeminent annual entrepreneurship gathering that convenes emerging entrepreneurs, investors and supporters from around the world.
  • It was started by U.S. government in 2010.
  • It serves as a vital link between governments and the private sector, and convenes global participants to showcase projects, network, exchange ideas, and champion new opportunities for investment.
  • Its aims to highlight entrepreneurship as means to address some of the most intractable global challenges.

GES-2017, Hyderabad:

  • It will be the eighth annual GES summit.
  • It will be the first GES summit to be held in South Asia.
  • Since 2010, it has been hosted by Kenya, Morocco, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and last year it was held in Silicon Valley in the US.
  • The Theme of GES-2017 is ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’, the main focus will be on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally.

Areas of main focus:

The GES 2017 will focus on four key industry sectors:

  1. Energy and Infrastructure.
  2. Healthcare and Life Sciences.
  3. Financial Technology and Digital Economy.
  4. Media and Entertainment

India’s new role:

  • The event will highlight India’s enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Through two and half days of training and mentoring sessions, networking, and investment matchmaking, the United States and India will forge new collaborations and launch new initiatives, while reducing the barriers inhibiting international growth and innovation.