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India and ASEAN to Create a B&R Alternative?

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Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI or B&R), a global transport and economic project, is well known world-wide. While some countries endorse it, many others consider it a form of Chinese expansion designed to subordinate the economies of other countries to China. India, for one, shares this opinion towards B&R. In order to minimize China’s influence on neighboring countries, including its long-standing economic and political partners, India is now forced to propose an alternative to B&R in the form of its own international transport routes and beneficial trade agreements. In addition to opposing B&R and China, this is also required to develop India’s economy.

India is known for its poor geographical location for trade with its neighboring countries, given the Himalayan Mountains stretching along the entire north side of the country. On the one hand, they create a barrier between India and China, whose relationships can hardly be considered free of issues. On the other hand, India’s trade relations are primarily represented by countries that can be reached over the sea (USA being the main trade partner for 2019-2020, for example). Countries that border India overland, with the exception of the hostile Pakistan and PRC, are Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, all of which have relatively poor purchasing power. The economy of the landlocked northern Indian states is particularly affected by this situation. And generally, it is difficult to realize the full trade potential of such a huge country by means of sea transport alone.

In order to overcome the geographical limitations, India decided to establish overland trade routes to........

© New Eastern Outlook

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