“Look West Policy” is unveiled by our Prime Minister Modi during his visit to UAE. Earlier in 1994, then Prime Minister Narsimha Rao also unveiled “Look East Policy” when he visited Singapore. It is a good initiative by our government as we will get much closer to become economically, politically and strategically more stable. There are many areas through which we can grow as a nation through this “Look West Policy”.
Energy is the need of the hour in our India. There are many problems which India faces to fulfil its energy needs. Nearly 60% of India’s energy needs are fulfilled by thermal energy, round about 20% from Hydropower electricity, 10% from renewable sources and rest like natural gas and nuclear energy which have less share. Now, clean energy is need of the hour but most of the energy need is being fulfilled by coal which is not a clean energy source and is the main source of air pollution. As, we have to fulfil our energy demands “Look West Policy” can be quite beneficial to us. Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE are a large source of natural gas which is cleaner source of energy than coal. Also, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran have large reserves of oil which will be helpful for us to fulfil our energy demands.
Infrastructure is the backbone of a nation. India’s infrastructure depends how much investment is being done by other nation’s companies in India. For this, Look West Policy can be a boost for Indian Infrastructure development. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) consisting of Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar have overall very less share of infrastructure in India which is around 2%. If through Look West Policy, we can increase GCC’s investment in India’s infrastructure, it will be a big boost for us.
Terrorism is now a global problem which haunts even the countries which proclaim themselves as superpowers. It is quite easy to visualise now a days the influence of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) on the Muslim youngsters which is not a good sign for India’s growth as it consist of large Muslim population. No doubt, there are very less cases till now of youngsters being influenced by ISIS in India but it can become serious problem if not being taken care as soon as possible. Here, GCC consisting countries can play an important role in helping India to control terrorism. Also, countries like Iran and Israel can also help in providing India support for tackling terrorism.
Defence or Military cooperation is another area in which India like to focus through its Look West Policies. Israel can play a big role as its defence is one of the best in the world. The mutual cooperation of the two countries can help in India’s defence related problems as Israel have good technologies related to Defence Service.
Foreign Exchange Reserve can also be boosted through Look East Policy as more Indians if get employed in Gulf countries, more will be our Foreign Reserve. This will help India grow as more the Foreign Reserve of India, more will be our stability in International market.
So, overall “Look West Policy” is a good Initiative by India as it can help India in growth related to technology, defence, energy but also in controlling terrorism problem. But for this Look West Policy to succeed, it should not only be viewed as “Look West” but as “Act West”.