The International Strategic and Security Studies (ISSSP), National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore, organised an international conference entitled ‘Myanmar at the Crossroads: Current Realities, Challenges and Opportunities’ between July 20-22, 2015 at NIAS.
The conference discussed and deliberated the dynamics of political change and regime transition in Myanmar and what it meant for the world today and in particular for India.
Leading experts, academics, policymakers, journalists from India, Myanmar and the region participated in the three-day International Conference.
About the Conference
It is critical to explore how these changes will evolve in the coming years and its impact on politics, economy and society of the country and Myanmar’s relations with other powers. The Conference also seeks to address the developments that are shaping the internal dynamics apart from mapping challenges and opportunities in Myanmar. It is in this context that understanding India’s approach towards Myanmar and developing a coherent posture becomes significant so as to achieve India’s larger strategic interests. A careful examination and analysis of this therefore, becomes the main focus of the conference.
For long, India has discussed and debated the ‘Look East’, now called ‘Act East’, policy, as well as better road and rail connectivity that would boost tourism and investments in the Northeast. While the policy discusses what it would include as its goals – development, connectivity to Southeast Asia, more economic growth, etc. – very few in Northeast India understand why it is important for them, or how it will contribute to the prosperity of the region. Hence, it is also essential to understand the Northeast perspective on Myanmar. Finally it becomes imperative to understand the political, economic and defence engagement of China with the Myanmar.
The key thematic questions that will weave together the multiple interactive sessions of the conference are:-
- How far will the changes in Myanmar go? Are the changes in Myanmar irreversible?
- Does the change in Myanmar signify a real transition or is this more of spin and propaganda by the military, designed to relax international pressure while maintaining their grip on power?
- Will the general elections slated for October/November this year affect ongoing reforms? What lies ahead in Myanmar?
- How is the Myanmar-China relationship evolving?
- Does India have leverage in Myanmar vis-a-vis rising profile of other powers?
- Will India’s approach towards Myanmar suffice in the post-2011 scenario? If not what can be the appropriate approach that India can have?
- Does the stability in Myanmar’s periphery in turn secure India’s own north-eastern region?
- What are the challenges and opportunities that exist in Myanmar for India and in particular for the Indian industry?
Photos from the Conference
Videos of Presentation and Discussions at the Conference
Full videos of all presentations and discussions that took place at the conference.
For accessing the ISSSP YouTube Channel click here