In Brief: Indo-Pacific wing, Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), India and Asean

Headline : External affairs ministry sets up Indo-Pacific wing

Details :

The News:

  • In a recent move, India has just set up an Indo-Pacific division in the foreign office, which will integrate the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Asean region and the Quad to the Indo-Pacific table.



  • The US has recently renamed its Pacific Command to the Indo-Pacific Command as it seeks to give teeth to its Indo-Pacific policy.
  • In 2018, in Shangri-La Dialogue, PM Modi insisted that a “stable, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific Region” is an “important pillar” of India’s strategic partnership with the US.
  • The new division is intended to give a coherent architecture to the policy, articulated by PM Narendra Modi at the Shangri-La Dialogue in 2018.


About Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)

  • The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) an international organisation consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean, with 22 Member States and 9 Dialogue Partners.
  • Aim: Strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region.
  • Headquarters: Ebene, Mauritius
  • Objectives :
    • To promote sustainable growth and balanced development of the region and member states
    • To focus on those areas of economic cooperation which provide maximum opportunities for development, shared interest and mutual benefits
    • To promote liberalisation, remove impediments and lower barriers towards a freer and enhanced flow of goods, services, investment, and technology within the Indian Ocean rim.
  • Focus Areas:
    • Maritime Safety & Security
    • Trade & Investment Facilitation
    • Fisheries Management
    • Disaster Risk Management
    • Tourism and Cultural Exchange
    • Academic Science and Technology
    • Blue Economy
    • Women’s economic empowerment

India and IORA

  • India is planning to put greater energy to the IORA because the heart of its Indo-Pacific policy is rooted in the Indian Ocean.
  • This integrates the blue economy part of the Indian policy with the security part.


About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

  • It is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten countries in Southeast Asia, which aims to promote collaboration and cooperation among member states, as well as to advance the interests of the region as a whole, including economic and trade growth.
  • Members: Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Laos

  • Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia
  • It also regularly engages other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

India and ASEAN

  • In its Indo-Pacific diplomacy, India has repeatedly placed Asean at the centre of its policy.
  • Asean is wary of China, US and its allies, preferring to keep the Asean region outside great power politics.
  • It is this that India wants to address and engage with Singapore, Vietnam and now Indonesia are key partners in the region for India.


Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad)

  • It is an informal grouping of four democracies India, Australia, US and Japan, which was first mooted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007.
  • All four nations find a common ground of being the democratic nations and common interests of unhindered maritime trade and security.

Impact of the new division:

  • The territorial divisions are crucial for policy making, so the creation of an Indo-Pacific division will re-configure the institutional mental-map to look beyond the Indian Ocean, and think and act “Indo-Pacific”.

Note: The policy will be run by the Ministry of External Affairs, which may move work with the defence ministry running its own Indo-Pacific policy.





Section : International Relation