It has been noticed for a long time that there was a need to set up strategic security architecture among the countries in the Asia-Pacific region. India could play a vital role by taking a lead in this aspect and developing a cohesive association among the communities in this part of the world, Subhakanta Behera, Joint Secretary (Policy, Planning and Research), Ministry of External Affairs (MoEA), said here on Wednesday.
Delivering the inaugural address during the international seminar on ‘India in emerging Asia-Pacific,' co-sponsored by the MoEA at the Pondicherry University, Mr. Behera said though a large amount of literature was available on the topic, there was a need to narrow down on specific issues while discussing the engagement between India and the constituents of the Asia-Pacific region.
Pointing to a survey that had put the share of the Asian countries in the global GDP at 35 per cent, he said that the biggest pool of middle-class citizens in the world was in this region. This also meant that the highest number of middle-class consumers belonged to the Asia-Pacific and hence the heightened focus of the world on these economies.
Mr. Behera said that the need to factor in the opinion of the rest of the country on issues of foreign policy has been realised and the Ministry no longer “confined itself” to Delhi.
Former Secretary of MoEA A.N. Ram said that the subject of cooperation between Asia-Pacific countries had gained “extreme importance” with the foreign policy acquiring a multi-dimensional nature.