Connectivity and Regional Cooperation

Development Corridors in Myanmar: Implications for India

 

This ongoing study will make an attempt to understand the level of trade links that India has with Myanmar, through both formal and informal channels. It will carry out a detailed fact finding survey of development of new infrastructures being planned or under implementation in Myanmar and their implications for North East in general and for India in particular. The study will examine the current status and performance of border infrastructure in North East, particularly in bordering states with Myanmar. It will investigate the strength and dimensions of the regional connectivity through North East. This study also attempts to understand: (i) resources of Myanmar to be linked through development corridors; (ii) opportunities for resource-based industries which will have strong spill over effect and generate downstream projects in Myanmar and India’s North East; and (iii) scopes and opportunities in production networks between India and Myanmar and beyond in sectors like petrochemicals, textile and clothing, rubber and other plantation crops, processed foods and marine products, etc. Finally, based on these investigations, a coherent strategy would be developed for strengthening the existing levels of trade (and also investment) links and connectivity between India and Myanmar and completing the ground work for setting up development corridors in Myanmar.

 

Managing the Global Financial Sector: Imperatives for the BRICS

The second BRIC Summit in 2010 leaders recognised the need for fostering and strengthening cooperation regarding the regulation and supervision of all segments, institutions and instruments of financial markets. They also underlined their commitment to improve their own national regulations, to push for the reform of the international financial regulatory system and to work closely with international standard setting institutes. The broad contours of the position taken by the BRICS leaders in respect of the governance of the financial sector may seem adequate. However, a number of occurrences since the last Summit suggest that the BRICS would need to take a more focused view of it. The study would focus on two such occurrences that merit attention by BRICS for these could affect these countries quite significantly. The first is the strengthening of the banking sector regulations, the framework of which was adopted by the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision in 2010. The second relates to the impact of the quantitative easings undertaken by the US administration. The increase in capital flows triggered by this action threatened to cause an indirect currency war. To keep their currencies competitive several major economies are taking recourse to capital controls.

 

ASEAN–India Maritime Transport Cooperation

ASEAN-India Centre (AIC) at RIS has been mandated by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to carry out a study on ASEAN–India maritime transport cooperation. A draft report has been prepared, which was presented and discussed at a national seminar organised by RIS on 31 January 2014. The report would be published soon. AIC is planning to organise an international conference on the aforesaid subject later.

 

ASEAN-India Air Transport Cooperation

On recommendation of ASEAN-India Eminent Persons, Leaders from all ASEAN countries attended the Commemorative Summit in 2012 which endorsed elevating ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership to Strategic Partnership. Subsequent to this, AIC at RIS was set up to assist the Government of India to strengthen India’s cooperation with ASEAN, in its realisation of the ASEAN Community by 2015, comprising three pillars, namely, the ASEAN Political Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. An annual flagship report such as AIDCR would provide research support to accomplish the objectives of Strategic Partnership. AIDCR will cover a host of cross-cutting economic issues in line with Vision Statement of ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit,which have implications on ASEAN-India relations. The chapters have been written by noted research scholars and experts. AIC would organise a workshop on AIDCR. The Report will be published soon.

 

Myanmar Research and Capacity Building Project

Improving capacity of human resources is essential for Myanmar’s prosperity, continued growth, and most importantly, economic integration with India. RIS along with a host of organisations of India and Myanmar with participation of Sussex University, Jadavpur University, UNESCAP, etc., has taken up this project. The objective is to train Myanmar officials and researchers on contemporary global and regional economic issues and build analytical capacity. The first training programme would soon be held and the first phase of this programme will continue till March 2015.

 

Assessing Impacts of Economic Corridors

The study develops an economic geography model to be tested with sub-national data, and assesses the impact of economic (transport) corridors in India with special reference to Indian states in terms of growth. Four important corridors, connecting India with eastern neighbours, have been selected, viz. (i)BCIM-Economic Corridor, (ii) East-West Corridor (part of Golden Quadrilateral project), (iii) Trilateral Highway, and (iv) Kalandan multimodal transit transport project. The study is ongoing and expected to be completed by early 2015.