Sunday, December 11, 2005

East Asia Summit

The leaders of the ten member-states of ASEAN meet in Kuala Lumpur on Monday and Tuesday this week. The East Asia Summit will then be inaugurated in a landmark event on Wednesday. This first ever summit will convene the heads of government of ASEAN, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. The East Asia Summit is viewed by many as a precursor to a 16 nation economic bloc that would embrace half the world's population and many of the most vibrant economies in the world. A new regional architecture appears to be in the offing. This potential free trade area already rivals the North Atlantic region as an economic growth pole.

Japan, China, India and South Korea are the four largest economies in the continent. ASEAN was keen that India participate in the East Asia Summit in part to neutralize China. India had also lobbyied for its inclusion in the deliberations.

I hope that this elite association would lead to increased ties in cinema, culture, communications, environmental protection, journalism, science and sports as well to compete with the vibrant North Atlantic region. In so doing, it would contribute to a global civilizational efflorescence. This would help make the 21st century a cosmopolitan, pulsating and dynamic one. For starters, India will need to ensure that the mistakes of SAARC, with its looming failed states, are not repeated. The membership of the emerging ASEAN-East Asia-India bloc ought to be restricted for now. All luck to Manmohan Singh as he participates in this crucial summit of considerable importance.


cynical nerd said...

I am told that it was the Japanese who lobbied for India's inclusion not the ASEAN. It is called ASEAN+3 (3 meaning Japan, China, South Korea). Cannot name any close ally/trading partner among the ASEAN countries. In addition, China is a much bigger trading parter for these countries than India.

We hope the look East policy will bear more fruits.


Jaffna said...

Dear cynical nerd,

Thanks for the information. Useful to know.

Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore, while they have closer trade links with China, are also keen on expanding economic ties with India.

Best regards


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