Policy

It’s time for countries to explore the concept of an Eastern Union: Dhankar

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on January 22, 2020

Governor of West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankar addressing an economic summit in Kolkata on Wednesday   -  Debasish Bhaduri

Has potential to emerge as a new economic bloc with the integration of East Asia, South Asia and India-Pacific region

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on Wednesday said the concept of Eastern Union captures the shift in power and influence from the West to the East.

The new Eastern Union is a proposed alliance of nations that form an integral part of the Indo-Pacific region. The concept revolves around seeking validation for an economic bloc, which, if formed, would be the largest trading group in the world.

According to Dhankar, the point to be deliberated is whether the Union is the way forward for India’s ‘Look East’ and ‘Act East’ motto.

Dhankar said: “Viewed through the prism of economic potentialities, as the markets in the mature economies hurtle towards saturation, the focus is now on opening new markets in a fast developing and emerging economy of the region. I firmly believe that the market on offer is massive and the purchasing power in this region is a magnet for companies to firm up integration models.

He was speaking at the Economic Summit 2020 organised by the Centre for East and North East Regional Studies, Kolkata (CENERS-K) and The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Wednesday.

There is no doubt that Asia is all set to be the new global growth centre. So South Asia must integrate its capital markets, labour markets, transport and other infrastructure in order to be part of the new dynamism.

The new Eastern Union envisages the collaborative geo–strategic, geo-political and geo-economic development in an inclusive platform.

“It must take advantage of the new emerging opportunities for cooperation with West Asia, South-East Asia and East Asia. Alongside, keeping in mind the challenges of Asia-Oceania, Asia Pacific and Indo-Pacific economy at this point, there is a need for integration among these countries. It is projected that the proposed Union shall fulfill this purpose because of its ability to explore the market and its potentialities,” he said.

Published on January 22, 2020

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