Quadrilateral alliance (Quad) – the next door of opportunity

MV Karthik Narayanaswamy ((MVK Narayanaswamy is an audit and secretarial consultant based at Wayanad District of Kerala State. He is a Company Secretary and possess a Master Degree in Business Administration with specialization in Finance. He also holds Bachelor Degrees in Public Administration as well as Commerce. Author in this article made an attempt to share his thoughts on Quad (the Quadrilateral alliance formed among India, Japan, USA and Australia)).

Government of India demonstrated a very positive approach in building healthy relations with the rest of the world nowadays. Honourable Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi’s effort in this regard needs a special mention. It is evident from the policies of the present India Government that, the government is giving an utmost importance in building and maintaining bilateral and multilateral relations with rest of the world. While framing such policies the present government has given due credit those Indians (Pravasi) who are spread across the world. Programs like ‘Pravasi Bharateeya Divas’ are playing a vital role in these context. As a result, Government of India even established relationships with those countries which didn’t have any relationship with India in last 30 – 40 years. Bilateral relationship with Canada is an example. Similarly, India’s participation, membership and recognition in various international organisations, groups and forums indicates the increasing importance of the nation along with other leading countries viz. US, France, Japan etc.

India joining hands with Australia, United States of America & Japan forming Quadrilateral alliance (QUAD) drew global attention. The idea of Quad was initially mooted in the year 2006 by then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Under this alliance the member countries of Quad agreed upon a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large.

The coalition held their first formal talk in Manila, Philippines and consultations were held on issues of common interest in the Indo-Pacific region with a focus on cooperation based on converging vision and values for the promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in the area. The Quad gained the global attention mainly because of following reasons;

  • China is trying to become the leader of Asia as first step and later leader of world, a position higher than USA; and
  • Significantly, India may use this alliance as a new strategic tool against China and Pakistan in its external affairs.
  • Similarly, Quad has got the potential to build immense pressure against China in their One Belt and One Road (OBOR) initiative, String of Pearls (Group of Ports), Invasion to South China Sea etc.

Though, demonetization (as per reports of Economic Survey 2016-17, Volume II)and GST implementation, has reduced the growth in GDP, Indian economy’s growth prospect is ever increasing.World Bank’s ‘Ease of doing  business’ report  shows that India’s ranking in ease of doing stands less than 100 for 2017-18 whereas in 2016-17 the rank was 131. World Bank reports also shows that India is World’s fastest growing economy. Thus, it is evident that china view India as its competitor due to its growth in economy.

Being a developing country as well as world’s fastest growing economy, India need co-operation from the rest of world. For that economic and social association with rest of the world is indeed, especially with developed economies. From this sense, Quad can be seen as an important strategic relationship even in addressing common challenges of terrorism and proliferation linkages impacting the region as on enhancing connectivity.

India’s Act east policy (Earlier, Look east policy) is the cornerstone of engagement of this region. Act east policy focuses on increased engagements with the regional blocs. The idea of Quad is to promote free trade and defense cooperation across a stretch of ocean from the South China Sea, Indian Ocean and all the way to Africa. Earlier there was a trilateral arrangement between India, USA and Japan. However later according to Japan’s wish Australia was also added and the Quad Group was born.

When we observe from Pakistan, it is a jealousy move of India. As everyone know that, Pakistan is trying to hinder our development process through terrorism and other anti- national elements. The situation of insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir is a very good example of Pakistan’s intervention in India. To certain extend China is also supporting Pakistan in order to hinder India’s growth. China’s objection against India’s membership in Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) on a baseless ground (that, if India is given membership, Pakistan should also be given membership since they applied in the same time) could be co-related in these lines.

India is enriched with both natural as well as human resources, and it is the responsibility of the State to create necessary opportunity to explore its resources. When an eye-catching opportunity is created the problem of “Brain drain” can also be solved which will indeed boost the overall development of the society. As mentioned earlier, the co-operation and support from developed countries as well as others are very much needed for India during this transition period.In these context, let’s see Quad as a next door of opportunity which could add fuel to India’s overall growth.