Delhi to host South Asia connectivity conference
The Economic Times , Oct 31, 2018
South Asian region, one of the least integrated regions in the world, but one that is home to a quarter of the world population is deservedly back in focus, as the world readjusts to new power equations.
This is more than evident as Delhi gears up to host an important South Asia Regional connectivity conference on 1st and 2nd November 2018.
The conference being organised by leading think tank CUTS International with the support of US Government, East West Centre and FICCI will be inaugurated by Foreign Secretary of India along with Ambassadors of US and Japan, key representatives of FICCI and East West Centre.
The two days conference is part of ongoing efforts by CUTS International to create a multi-discipline, multi-country platform for policy discussions by connecting policy makers, private sector, think tanks, experts, and trade and investment promotion bodies from South Asian countries and key actors in the Indo-Pacific.
Key speakers from the region will deliberate on critical regional connectivity issues including digital economy, infrastructure and energy sectors.
Indo Pacific region is fast emerging as a pivot that is crucial to balancing global power and hence there is revived interest in the potential of South Asia.
The World Bank estimates that removing barriers and streamlining customs procedures alone would quadruple inter-regional trade from $28 billion to $100 billion in South Asia. An optimum integration of the region, therefore, can create much greater prosperity.
India’s centrality in the Indo-Pacific region and more specifically in the South Asian region is well recognised and also finds a place in the strategic outlook of democracies in the Indo-Pacific. India-US-Japan trilateral cooperation, India-Japan-Australia trilateral, emerging India-Indonesia-Australia trilateral, India-US-Japan-Australia quadrilateral cooperation, India's ASEAN policy, and Asia-Africa Growth Corridor conceived by India and Japan are examples of this centrality. India is also engaging other major powers including Russia and France besides partners in Gulf and Africa for its concept of Indo-Pacific that extends from Eastern Africa to Pacific.
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