Towards an EU-India Indo-Pacific Connectivity Partnership for Effective Engagement with ASEAN

Michaël Tanchum, Velina Tchakarova, Christoph Schwarz Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES), Harsh V Pant, Premesha Saha, Pratnashree Basu Observer Research Foundation (ORF)

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04.03.2022


This research paper was sponsored by the EU-India Think Tanks Twinning Initiative 2020-2022 and is the result of a collaboration between the AIES and ORF. The policy report seeks to assess how areas of convergence between the EU and India can bolster effective engagement with ASEAN and enhance the EU-India relationship itself. Cooperation in a third region offers possibilities for EU-India commercial engagement that have so far eluded the EU-India bilateral relationship. While the EU is India's 3rd largest trade partner, India is only the EU's 10th. Europe has a far denser commercial presence in ASEAN markets than India. Amidst these and other challenges, this analysis has identified key partnership opportunities that will be mutually beneficial for EU and India in working to expand the scope of engagement with ASEAN member states.

This assessment seeks to be in consonance with the Global Gateway's priorities and the sustainable development focus of its sister program, the European Green Deal—the EU's USD1-trillion initiative for ameliorating climate change at home and abroad. Therefore, it focuses on four policy areas to enhance EU-India collaboration in fostering connectivity with ASEAN: Supply chain resilience; Green energy transition; Digitalisation; and Maritime security cooperation and capacity building. For the three commercial areas, the study has found a common approach requiring four fundamental actions for effective EU-India engagement in ASEAN. After laying out a detailed analysis of these areas, the study proceeds with an evaluation of effective approaches for EU-India maritime security cooperation and engagement with ASEAN. The study concludes with specific policy recommendations.