‘Act East’, ‘Neighbor first’ effect outside South Asia: Jay Shankar

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Guwahati: ‘Act East’, ‘Neighbor first’ effect outside South Asia: Jay Shankar Foreign Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said that the combination of ‘Act East’ and ‘Neighborhood First’ policies would have a very strengthening effect for the country beyond the borders of South Asia.

Addressing a meeting of the Natural Alliance for Development and Interdependence (NADI) here, Jaishankar said that this realization was reflected in the potential of BIMSTEC in the Bay of Bengal region.
He said land connectivity through Myanmar and maritime connectivity through Bangladesh would open all avenues for Vietnam and the Philippines.

“Once it becomes commercially viable, it will create an East-West backdrop for the continent with far-reaching consequences,” he added.

“It’s definitely within our capacity to overcome geography and rewrite history if we can only fix politics and economics,” he said.

Jaishankar said that this vision can be successfully fulfilled by expanding ties with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar to improve access to ASEAN countries and beyond.

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