Assessing the Prospects for Greater Connectivity with Southeast Asia
The search for greater connectivity with Southeast Asia is driving the evolution of the relationship between India and Myanmar. A partnership with Naypyidaw could help India’s integration with the more dynamic economies of Southeast Asia as well as with the dynamic Yunnan province in China. In doing so, India also expects to contain China’s influence in Myanmar. Transport infrastructure projects, including the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, are being developed in Myanmar that may help India achieve its objectives. But numerous obstacles including ethnic conflicts in the country as well as relative mistrust between New Delhi and Naypyidaw may inhibit regional integration through Myanmar. India moreover faces competition from countries with much larger capacities such as Japan and the United States, which on one hand may help diminish China’s influence but also diminish the political space available for India.
Keywords: Connectivity Southeast Asia connectivity, India Myanmar relations, Naypyidaw, Yunnan Province, China Myanmar relations, Transport Infrastructure, India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway, Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, Relations with Bangladesh, Ethnic insurgencies, Quest for energy, Japanese competition US and Japan factors
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