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Act East Policy

 “South east asia begins from India’s northeast”

 Also known as Enhanced look East policy/ LEP 3.0.
 Term AEP was first officially used by external affairs minister sushma swaraj during her
visit to Myanmar in August 2014. Although it's Origin can be traced back to December 2012
when India and Asean signed a mission statement.
 The mission statement is blue print of future India Asean cooperation which indicated
India Asean partnership incorporating the strategy component in the bilateral relations.
 AEP has given multifaceted role for India in south East asia
 By officially upgrading LEP to AEP India has taken measures to raise its profile
 Difference between AEP and LEP
o AEP is also an upgradation of LEP as LEP was largely concerned about
development of North East India by economically connecting it with south East
asia. AEP has larger objective of safeguarding india's interest as a whole without
loosing sight of North East component of LEP
o Whereas LEP largely involves improving india's economic partnership with
Asean, the act East policy has infused strategic dimension to the look East
 The five basic principles of AEP call for
o Positioning India as staregically eminent power in Indian ocean region, south
East Asia and East asia
o Enchanting connecitivity
o Economic development of india
o Development of North East states
o Tourism in order to increase people to people contact
 Need for AEP
o Without India's support peace in Indian ocean region can't be maintained
o Growing association with south East asia and other stakeholders such as Japan
and Australia is clearly being recognised as the core principle of AEP
o Beyond the south East region to Oceania
o Emerging China factor in south China Sea - cartographic aggression that China
has launched against many Asean countries, India has emerged as source of
strength for most of these countries because of its unequivocal stand on Maritime
dispute where they shall be settled only through negotiations by taking recourse to
international law
o India has been strong supporter of freedom of navigation and other Maritime
rights as per international laws
 What is being done
o As part of enhanced connectivity India is promoting a multi modal approach that
integrates land, sea and air connectivity for advancing trade, investment and people
to people contact
o India will fastrack the ongoing connectivity project in south East Asia to accelerate
regional connectivity
o As part of AEP India has strongly supported the master plan of asean+
connectivity, negotiation on Asean India transport agreement and India
Myanmar Thailand trilateral highway project and extending it to Laos, Cambodia
and Vietnam
o In the region of economic relations, India and Asean country have set a target to
of bilateral trade of 200 billion dollar by 2022 from the current position of 100
billion dollar a year
o India has identified 6 areas of exports
 Petroleum products
 Organic chemicals
 Gems and jewellery
 Apparel
 Clothing accessories
 Pharmaceutical
o PM's visit to Japan, presidents visit to Vietnam and increasing defence cooperation of
India with Vietnam are indicative of India's willingness to play a strategic role in south
east and East asia