Skip to main content
Look East Policy & India's North East: Polemics and Perspectives
  • Thongkholal Haokip, Jawaharlal Nehru University
The Look East policy has emerged as one of the prominent foreign policy initiative India has undertaken in the post-Cold War period. It was launched in the year 1991 by the then Narasimha Rao Government with the aim of developing multifaceted relation with countries of Southeast Asia. Such aims include renewing political contacts, increasing economic integration, and forging security cooperation with several countries of Southeast Asia as a means to strengthen political understanding, and enhancing India’s political role in the dynamic Asia-Pacific region in general and Southeast Asia in particular. As a result the Look East policy is responsible in making India an inalienable part of the Asia-Pacific’s strategic discourse. It is rather a late recognition of the strategic and economic importance of the region to India’s national interests. After 17 years the Look East policy has yielded many benefits and supported India’s economic transformation and growth, including closer strategic contacts between India and Southeast Asian countries, an impressive increase in the quantum of bilateral trade with other developing countries in Asia and increased people-to-people interaction. India’s trade with countries bordering the Northeastern region witnessed a dramatic expansion, with the share going up more than five times. However, this increase in the volume of trade with India’s eastern neighbours has had little or no impact on the Northeast. As a result, in the second phase, the Look East Policy has been given a new dimension wherein India is now looking towards partnership with the ASEAN countries integrally linked to economic and security interests of the Northeastern region. Thingnam Kishan Singh edited book Look East Policy & India’s North East: Polemics and Perspectives published by Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi is a collection of articles published in the first four issues of a quarterly journal Alternative frames which was rechristened as Alternative Perspective.
  • India's Look East Policy,
  • India's Act East Policy,
  • North East India
Publication Date
Winter December 1, 2009
Citation Information
Haokip, T. (2009). Look East Policy & India's North East: Polemics and Perspectives. Man and Society: A Journal of North East Studies, 6, 115-119.