Being one of the world’s largest economies and most populous countries, India’s increasingly important role in regional and global affairs is uncontested. Against the background of a rising China and a shifting US stance in the Indo-Pacific region, India has shown robust economic growth, a stronger involvement as a security player, and a more prominent engagement in global governance. In geo-strategic terms, India is building strong relations with major powers, and seeking partnerships within the region and its extended neighbourhood through the pursuit of a pragmatic foreign policy, while continuing a complex relationship with China. At the same time, however, India faces challenges as for economic competition, maritime security, and defense relations with other states in the region. The threat of terrorism in the South Asian region and long-lasting tensions between India and Pakistan have an impact on regional security.
How will India position itself against the background of rising US-China rivalry in the Indo-Pacific including China’s Belt and Road Initiative? How will the slow-down of India’s economic growth affect New Delhi’s capacity to compete with other powers in the region and further away, including in Africa? How can tensions in relations between India and Pakistan be avoided and how would the looming peace process in Afghanistan impact on that? How can the EU work closer with India in order to promote peace and security, inclusive economic growth, and sustainable development?