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India’s strategy as an emerging Great Power

Published 15 August 2023

In recent years, India’s population and economic prowess have increased. At the same time, it is re-entering the global trade arena, with impressive results. While threats from China loom, what is India's trade strategy? Amitendu Palit, senior research fellow and research lead at the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, and James Crabtree, executive director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies-Asia, explain the relationship between India, China, and the rest of the world.

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The rules of the world order are changing and the trade landscape is changing along with it. India, once secluded, has reformed economically and has begun outreach to Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia, which it previously had little contact with. In the last three years, in particular, India has had a period of high proactivity. India’s latest agreements are with Group of Seven (G7) countries and its top trade partners. If India’s growth and trade engagements follow the current trajectory, global trade can become more India-focused, predicts Amitendu Palit.

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) gives India rulemaking powers in regional trade. It can contribute to standard setting for ambiguous sectors such as new technologies, digital economies, and more. The new framework gives India the opportunity to regain goodwill from regional partners after it refused to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

About the NPF International Trade Fellowship 2023

The National Press Foundation holds an annual International Trade Fellowship workshop for journalists sponsored by the Hinrich Foundation. This year, we welcomed 24 Asia-based journalists to the fellowship at the Hinrich Foundation offices in Singapore. The sessions, held in July, focused on US-China geopolitics, AI’s impact on trade, global shifts in supply chains, data visuals, and more.

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