Since its inception, the Indo-Pacific construct debates have revolved around the two most critical issues. With the first issue of geographical scope getting more or less settled, the second and equally important issue of creating enabling institutional frameworks is assuming the centre stage in Indo-Pacific debates. The Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) aims to provide a comprehensive institutional framework to the Indo-Pacific architecture. With countries such as Australia, France, Japan, and Vietnam have already voiced their support and/or joined the IPOI, it seems New Delhi’s latest initiative is poised to lend greater credibility to the Indo-Pacific construct while establishing India as a responsible stakeholder and a ‘rule-maker’ rather than a ‘rule-taker’ in the region. Budding shoots of IPOI are promising and can bring home tangible gains provided sustained efforts are put in to ensure gains on all seven pillars of the IPOI.
This commentary was published by the ASEAN-India Centre, Research and Information System of Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi, India.