Towards Mutual Benefit: Paradigm Shift in India’s Development Cooperation with Myanmar

Diplomatist Magazine, January 2017, Pg 15-17

M. Mayilvaganan, Associate Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies

With the rapid growth of economy, India has expanded its development assistance to other developing countries substantially. Indeed, development cooperation assistance is one of the effective tools of Indian foreign policy today that is employed for building relationship, solidarity, leveraging soft power and in furthering India’s strategic interest. The ethos behind India’s approach is to foster “development partnerships” that would contribute for the mutual benefit of both India and the beneficiary. At the moment India’s relationship and development partnership with Myanmar has gathered momentum. Thanks to New Delhi’s realisation that ideology oriented isolation policy and economic protectionism would not aid in fostering own geo-strategic and geo-economic interest. Notably, New Delhi extends its unstinting development partnership to Nay Pyi Daw on three fronts: connectivity infrastructure, training and capacity building, grants and line of credits. Nevertheless, to achieve desired goals India needs to work on gathering legitimacy through commitment, projection of India’s positive image, coordination among the various ministries, and successful completion of all the pending development projects that it has undertaken so far.

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