The Eastern Economic Forum and India's Balancing Act
Upgrade your UPSC CSE preparation and knowledge base with our daily edition of Current Affairs wherein we discuss topics that are making news at the national and international level. In today’s edition, we will talk about The Eastern Economic Forum and India’s Balancing Act and also find its relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus.
For Prelims: Eastern Economic Forum, Russia’s Far East,
For Mains: Eastern Economic Forum, Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, Belt and Road Initiative, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, etc.
Here’s our yesterday’s edition of Current Affairs on 3 Trade Pillars at Indo Pacific Meet 2022
Russia hosted the seventh Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) at Vladivostok.The four-day forum is a platform for entrepreneurs to expand their businesses into Russia’s Far East (RFE).
Can proactively taking a part in both, the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) and Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), be considered a balancing act for India?
About Russia’s Far East (RFE)
- The region constitutes about one-third of its territory, but only 5.6 % of Russia’s population.
- Despite riches and resources, the region contributes to only five percent of Russia’s GDP due to the unavailability of personnel.
- It is supposed to play a decisive role in what has been labelled the country’s Pivot to the East (povorot na Vostok).
- The RFE is geographically placed at a strategic location; acting as a gateway into Asia.
About Eastern Economic Forum
- The EEF was established in 2015 to encourage foreign investments in the RFE.
- It showcases the economic potential, suitable business conditions and investment opportunities in the region.
- The annual gathering comes at an opportune time for Russia who is dealing with the impact of the sanctions.
Major Actors in the Forum and their Interests?
- China is the biggest investor (90%) in the region as it sees potential in promoting the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative and the Polar Sea Route in the RFE.
- The Trans-Siberian Railway has further helped Russia and China in advancing trade ties.
- China is also looking to develop its Heilongjiang province which connects with the RFE.
- South Korea has gradually invested in shipbuilding projects, manufacturing of electrical equipment, gas-liquefying plants, agricultural production and fisheries.
- Japan identified eight areas of economic cooperation and pushed private businesses to invest in the development of the RFE.
- Japan seeks to depend on Russian oil and gas resources after the 2011 meltdown in Fukushima.
- However, the momentum was lost due to the Kuril Islands dispute.
- Through the EEF, India aims to establish a strong inter-state interaction with Russia, through agreements in the diamond and pharmaceuticals industry.
Will India be able to achieve a balance between the EEF and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF)?
- India has not shied away from investing in the Russia-initiated EEF despite the current international conditions.
- India has also given its confirmation and acceptance to three of the four pillars in the IPEF, to strengthen its presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The IPEF presents an ideal opportunity to act in the region, without being part of the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or other regional grouping like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership .
News source: The Hindu
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