India will open its embassy in Dili, capital of the Southeast Asian nation of Timor-Leste. The Decision to open an embassy in Timor-Leste was announced by prime minister Narendra Modi at the 20th India -ASEAN summit meeting held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 7 September 2023.
Timor -Leste joined ASEAN(Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in 2022 as an observer country and it is expected to become a full member of ASEAN in 2025.
Relations with ASEAN occupy a central position in India's Act East Policy. India has diplomatic missions in all the 10 full members of ASEAN except Timor-Leste .
ASEAN is considered to be one of the most successful regional groups in the world . It was set up in 1967 and at present has 10 full members . The members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam .
In the early 1990’s during the Narasimha Rao government period ,India launched the Look East Policy . Under the Look East Policy emphasis was on increasing trade and investment with the eastern neighbours of India. Special focus was on improving economic and trade ties with ASEAN countries .
Initially , India was made a sectoral partner by ASEAN in 1992 but it was gradually upgraded to strategic partnership in 2012.
The Modi government which came into power in 2014 substituted the Look East Policy to Act East Policy. The Act East Policy was launched by the prime minister Modi in 2014
The Look East Policy basically focused on increasing trade and investment with its East Asian neighbours .
The Act East Policy focus is on promoting economic cooperation, cultural ties and developing strategic relationships with countries in the Asia-Pacific region that share common concerns with India on China’s growing economic and military strength.
The Act East Policy is meant to develop the North Eastern region of India through a deep and extended connectivity with the ASEAN countries.
The Act East policy is basically a continuation of the Look East Policy.
Timor -Letse or East Timor is an island country situated at the southern extreme of the Malay Archipelago.
The country gained independence from Portugal in 1975 . However it was soon invaded and occupied by Indonesia . It was named East Timor by Indonesia after its annexation .
In a United Nations supervised referendum conducted in 1999 the people of East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia.
The country was put under the United Nation supervision and it was formally declared as an Independent country in 2002.
It later changed its name to Timor- Leste from East Timor .
Capital : Dili
Currency : Dollar
Prime Minister : Xanana Gusmão