The Role of Myanmar in India’s Look East Policy

Thi Thi Soe San

Former Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Mandalay, Mandalay, Myanmar. E-mail:


India has pursued the “Look East” policy to cultivate extensive economic and strategic relations with East and Southeast Asian nations, address its security concerns, and bolster its standing as a regional power. Myanmar is the only land bridge between India and the Southeast Asia countries, and that is why Myanmar’s geopolitical location is of crucial importance for India. Balancing China’s economic and security interests in Myanmar, India pursued “constructive engagement” to reconcile with Myanmar. Based on these claims, this paper focuses on how the geostrategic position of Myanmar has become a vital role of India’s Look East Policy? This article argues that the “Look East Policy” plays a significant role in influencing India’s foreign policy behaviour with Myanmar and stresses that Myanmar plays a vital role in strengthening India’s geopolitical position in Southeast Asia. It first discusses India’s Look East Policy and the position and vitality of Myanmar in the broader framework of India’s Look East Policy. It then analyses the factors that have resulted in successfully approaches of Look East policy rely not only on geopolitical position but also on Linkage projects between India and Myanmar, especially Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project. The qualitative research method will analyse primary and secondary data in the open literature.

Keywords India . India’s Look East Policy . Constructive engagement .