There is a connectivity race in the Asia Pacific. As the drive to connect with neighbours and those further away continues, it is increasingly clear that investments in ports and roads, railways and pipelines are neither benign nor selfless. Connectivity, particularly infrastructure-related, has become a space of contest and confrontation, especially in Asia — both on land and at sea. Broader concerns of transparency, fiscal responsibility and freedom of navigation are also being raised, prompting a search for alternatives. This panel discussed the political objectives and consequences of such economic activity; the potential effect on emerging Asian architecture; and consequences for regional governance, as they pertain to principles of cooperation.
Vijay Keshav Gokhale, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs
India Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour, Deputy Foreign Minister, Iran
István Mikola, Minister of State for Security Policy and International Cooperation, Hungary
Zalmay Khalilzad, Former Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations and Counsellor, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Nisha Biswal, President, USIBC Michael Fullilove, Executive Director, Lowy Institute (moderator)