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Look East Meets Look West: Indian-Southeast Asian Relations in Flux


India has been eager to expand its economic networks with Southeast Asia, one of the most vibrant segments of the world economy, accounting for a large share of global exports. In addition to the economic links required to feed India's fast growing economy, greater cooperation and integration is considered a way of promoting development in India's northeast as well as the less-developed Southeast Asian countries. While some fear growing rivalry in the area between India and China, their growing commercial interests are more likely to lead to enhanced cooperation, given the need to build up a peaceful environment to protect their business interests in the region. The competition could also prove beneficial to Southeast Asia itself, spurring economic openness and competition.