This report looks at India and the continuing change in political and trade influences in the Indo-Pacific region and the possible effects it will have on existing political powers such as the United States of America and Australia.
The rapid expansion of trade, investment and production linkages in the area spanning the Indian and Pacific Oceans and the shift of economic power from the Trans-Atlantic to Asia has given rise to a push by commentators to have the ‘IndoPacific’ region recognised as a single geo-strategic arc. Yet, the concept remains politically contested and there has been insufficient attention paid to the geopolitical and geoeconomic drivers behind its emergence in particular national contexts. Among the most prominent promoters of the ‘Indo-Pacific’ have been commentators and state actors in the United States, Australia and India.
This policy brief analyses the debate on the Indo-Pacific in India, in particular, and suggests that the adoption of the Indo-Pacific terminology by Indian officials is a reflection of the dominance of domestic economic imperatives in the making of contemporary Indian foreign policy. This is at variance with the driving motivation behind the promotion of the term by officials in the United States and Australia and suggests that the common adoption of the Indo-Pacific concept does not mean a convergence in foreign policy priorities.