The ASEAN countries are central to India’s Indo-Pacific strategy and the two fundamental pillars of the nation’s foreign policy are the Neighbourhood First and Act East, said foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Wednesday.
“India is linked to South East Asia by land through this region. It is linked by the Bay of Bengal to the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific,” he added.
The Foreign Secretary’s Remarks came on Wednesday at the Annual Session of the Indian Chamber of Commerce held in Kolkata titled ‘Bharat@75: Empowering India: Today for Tomorrow’
The Foreign Secretary highlighted that lines of communication are being created through North East India to South and South East Asia.
“Five of the six rail links that connected Bangladesh and India before 1965 and were interrupted by the vagaries of history have been reactivated. More are being built,” the Foreign Secretary said.
India is now connected to Nepal through the Jayanagar- Kurtha railway line. A Raxaul Kathmandu railway is on the anvil
The Foreign Secretary also said that the future plans to enhance connectivity include extending the Trilateral Highway to Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Railways that link India and Myanmar and further to Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh are all in the realm of possibility.
The above projects will improve India’s connectivity in the ASEAN region through the Act East Policy. (ANI)