MBA aspirants must be updated with General Awareness on current topics. General awareness topics with analytically drawn conclusions will benefit you in Essay writing / GD & PI. Today, you will read General Awareness Topic:
India woos Thailand to strengthen Southeast Asia connect
On May 30, 2013, India and Thailand signed an extradition treaty, which had been in the pipeline for close to twenty years. In addition, both the countries have agreed to cooperate and work closely to eradicate money laundering cases.
This is indicative of the countries’ commitment to combat terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime as well as crimes related to counterfeiting and fraud.
Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Salman Khurshid, Indian Minister for External Affairs, came together in the last week of May to strengthen bilateral ties between both the countries.
For the past few months, India has been trying to get Dawood Ibrahim’s hitman, Syed Muzakkir Mudassar Hussain, who is in India’s ‘wanted’ list, for his involvement in underworld activities. He is currently serving time in a prison in Thailand for his involvement in the attack on Chhota Rajan, a member of the underworld, in 2001.
For the past few months, India and Pakistan have been fighting over Syed Muzakkir Mudassar Hussain’s nationality and India is hoping that through close cooperation with Thailand, it will be able to get Indian prisoners who are serving time in Thailand to consider serving the remainder of their time in India.
This is India’s way of wooing Thailand to strengthen its bond with Southeast Asian nations. Now, India has more brownie points than Pakistan when it comes to the relationship with Thailand.
And through this pact, India hopes to become an ally of Thailand and slowly expand its reach to countries in Southeast Asia such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei.
To enhance its relationship with Thailand, India has decided to work closely with this Southeast Asian nation on space technology development as well as development of cultural ties.
According to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Thailand is a gateway to India’s healthier relationship with Southeast Asia. In the recent meeting, India and Thailand discussed developing a regional architecture in Southeast Asia to resolve maritime and territorial disputes with China.
In this meeting, both Indian and Thai Prime Ministers expressed an interest to establish a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. In fact, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra invited India to invest in a deep sea and special economic zone in Myanmar that is promoted by Thailand.
Both India and Thailand are keen on enhancing their bilateral relations because they share similar values, including promotion of democratic values, respect for human rights, and promotion of sustainable growth and development.
The enhanced bilateral relations are seen as part of the ‘Look West’ policy by Thailand, where the Southeast Asian country is forging friendship with countries to its west – the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India.
And India has taken this policy to its advantage by drawing Thailand closer to South Asia and at the same time, strengthening its economic and political ties with Thailand and other neighbouring countries.
All in all, Thailand and India signed a total of seven agreements to enhance social, political and economic ties between both the countries and beyond. It is hoped that by sharing information with each other and increasing security cooperation, India will not only become a close ally of Thailand but also of Southeast Asia.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a close-knit community and for India to strengthen the Southeast Asia connect, it is important to form a direct bond with each of the member countries. And this exactly what India is doing – wooing and working closely with Thailand to get into the good books of the remaining Southeast Asian nations.