In a recent visit to the Sultanate by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Oman granted India the use of a strategic port and the two states signed several Memoranda of Understanding. As China’s presence in the Indian Ocean Region grows, India will continue to look to Oman, a longstanding partner, to help it to achieve its economic and maritime security interests in the Persian Gulf.
The purchase of eleven Sukhoi fighter jets is a small, but welcome upgrade. The larger process of expanding the Indonesian Air Force, of which it has been part, is extremely slow-moving and achieving the Minimum Essential Force goals by 2024 appears unlikely.
Politicians have used the review to shore up conservative votes at the expense of Indonesia’s LGBT community. At this stage, it is likely that the revision will be endorsed by parliament but it remains unclear whether it will be approved by President Jokowi.
With an economy that is vulnerable to external factors and dependent on tourism and industrial fishing, the return of an aquaculture industry could help ensure economic diversity and a sustainable food source for an increasingly challenged fisheries sector.
As Sri Lanka moves to modernise its economy, Singapore is delicately balancing its economic interests with China against its regional security interests. For both Singapore and Sri Lanka, the signing of a free trade agreement is a means of furthering their respective goals through a closer bilateral relationship.
A new platform for counter-terrorism dialogue may not yield tangible results for South-East Asia but could act as a useful diplomatic vehicle for Australia to deepen its strategic bilateral arrangements with key partners.
Australian pulse farmers suffer a 30 per cent pay-cut while discussions to secure a free trade agreement with India must be carefully managed.
The Indonesian leader concluded number of trade and defence agreements in South Asia and satisfied his domestic audience by drawing attention to the Rohingya Crisis.
As the balance of power in the region shifts, Japan is increasingly looking outside of its traditional alliances, while Indo-Pacific France is seeking to increase its influence in Asia. For the two states, maritime security is a means to pursue those goals.