India-ASEAN Cooperation in Information and Communication Technologies: Issues and Prospects
Abtract: Against the backdrop of India-ASEAN cooperation since the early 1990s, and the recent initiatives towards taking the partnership to new heights, the present paper examines India ASEAN cooperation in IT during the recent past and highlights the prospects for the future. It has been argued that India-ASEAN cooperation could be instrumental in addressing the ASEAN divide – the development gap between old and new ASEAN countries. For India, it could help diversifying its software export markets on the one hand and facilitate reviving its lagging hardware sector. Also, an exploitation of the synergies between India’s software capability and the hardware capability of old ASEAN could facilitate enhancing the IT capability in Asia as a whole – a prerequisite for making 21st century Asia’s century. While, a good beginning has been made at the instance of Governments and private sector, the paper calls for hastening the process and highlights certain specific areas for focused actions.