Southbound Policy complements India’s own efforts: envoy

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Nov 20, 2017 - Page 3

India’s top envoy to Taipei said Wednesday that Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy has a logic that complements India’s regional foreign policy of building connections with its Eastern neighbors.

Sridharan Madhusudhanan, director general of the India-Taipei Association, said while Taiwan is seeking to enhance ties with countries targeted in its New Southbound Policy, India is looking east.

By boosting links with countries listed in its New Southbound Policy, including India, Taiwan is hoping to achieve sustained economic growth and to transform its economic model, with a focus on innovation and original branding, he said. “On the Indian side, we have launched the Act East Policy, to increase our connections with the region,” Madhusudhanan said.

The India and Taiwan policies, therefore, are linked by complementary logic, Madhusudhanan said.

The Act East Policy, launched in 2014 under the leadership of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, focuses on India’s relations with its Eastern neighbors.

He said India can contribute to Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy, which is aimed at strengthening ties with ASEAN member nations, South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.

India is the fastest growing large economy in the world, with a GDP growth of more than 7 percent, he said.

It also has a population of 1.3 billion, a young workforce with an average age of 29 years, and a series of flagship programs such as “Make in India” and “Digital India” that were introduced under Modi’s leadership, the envoy said.

“India is inviting credible partners with capital, capability and cutting-edge technology to join in this growth,” Madhusudhanan said.

In fact, a number of Taiwan corporations have already invested in India, in areas that include information and communication technology, medical devices, automobile components, machinery, steel, electronics, construction, engineering, and financial services, he said.

The India-Taipei Association represents Indian interests in

Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

This story has been corrected since it was first published.