New Delhi, April 10 (NNN-Bernama) India, with its booming economy and "Look East" policy, is poised to emerge a strategic player in the Southeast Asian region, and Malaysia should engage New Delhi more closely.
Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) chief executive officer Mohamed Jawhar Hassan said Malaysia, like other Asean countries, should bolster its relations with the sub-continent nation.
"We drifted apart for a while and we are slightly late than some Asean countries. India is becoming a major economy and is going to be an important strategic player in the Southeast Asian region," he told Bernama after the opening of a two-day India-Malaysia Strategic Dialogue Monday.
India is now playing a more active external role, particularly with its Look East policy and it wants to be engaged strongly in regional cooperation, he said.
He said India and Malaysia shared many principles and strategic interests such as multi-lateralism, independent foreign policy and promotion of democracy and they could play a pivotal role in addressing
Academics, non-governmental organisations and security analysts, from both countries, attended the fifth track-two dialogue co-hosted by ISIS and the Indian Council of World Affairs.
Also present at the dialogue was Bernama chairman Mohd Annuar Zaini.
After the launch of the Look East Policy in the early 1990s, India took a special interest in Asean and gradually improved ties with the 10-member regional grouping.
India is also Asean's dialogue partner and a member of the Asean Regional Forum.
The dialogue is held to explore cooperation on strategic matters crucial to both countries.