New options for trilateral cooperation in the Indo-Pacific: Australia-India-United Kingdom

Author name: 
Brewster, D
Medcalf, R
Nouwens, V
Dave, A
Pant, H
Saha, P
Publisher: 
ANU National Security College
Year: 
2022
Month: 
July
Abstract: 

In this Policy Options Paper, the authors put forward a case for why it increasingly makes sense for Australia, India and the United Kingdom to work together on selected issues to help strengthen regional security and prosperity. They outline three key areas of opportunity: maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean; regional infrastructure and connectivity, including in submarine cables; and cooperation in Central Bank Digital Currencies.

Key Points
  • The interests of Australia, India and the United Kingdom in the Indo-Pacific are increasingly intertwined. This creates opportunities for the three countries to work together on selected issues to help strengthen regional security and prosperity.
  • The three countries’ interests most clearly converge in the Indian Ocean.
  • Trilateral collaboration should focus on initiatives that can yield the greatest impact, including in the areas of maritime security, infrastructure and connectivity, and technology sharing.
Key Recommendations
  • Security in the maritime domain should be a key focus for cooperation, including joint naval exercises and building greater maritime domain awareness. Cooperation in the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal in particular, should be prioritised.
  • Australia, India and the UK should work together to strengthen the capabilities of countries in the Indian Ocean region for protection of the marine environment.
  • The three countries should pursue joint projects in infrastructure and connectivity, including through regional initiatives such as the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), and in submarine cables.
  • Australia, India and the UK should pursue joint initiatives on the adoption of Central Bank Digital Currencies.
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