A message from the CEO

Riya
Author Centre for Australia-India Relations
Date 20 May 24

Which foreign or trade policy issue are you most interested in tackling?

Working at the intersection of foreign policy, economics, and security, my research interest lies in analysing the geoeconomics of infrastructure and connectivity within the Eastern Indian Ocean Region (IOR). My current research focuses on the dynamics of seaport infrastructure development and the enhancement of connectivity between South Asia and Southeast Asia. This area is witnessing a growing emphasis on multinational cooperation, highlighted by initiatives from key regional players and partners such as India, Australia, Japan, and the United States.

The objective of my study is to investigate the potential for cooperation between India and Australia in bolstering infrastructure and connectivity at strategic seaports across the Eastern IOR. This research delves into the collaborative dynamics between Australia and India, examining how these partnerships can elevate maritime port infrastructure and connectivity within the broader Indo-Pacific framework. Such cooperation is crucial not only for enhancing regional connectivity but also for securing supply chains and promoting stable economic growth across the Eastern Indian Ocean.

How is your research going to promote policy translation and public discourse in Australia and/or India? 

My research aims to bridge the gap between academia and policymaking in both Australia and India by focusing on the strategic development of seaport infrastructure and connectivity in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region. By analysing collaborative efforts between these two nations, the study underscores the economic and security benefits that enhanced maritime infrastructure can bring to the region.

During the course of this research, I aim to engage with policymakers, scholars and the private sector through targeted meetings and an expert roundtable discussion, presenting data-driven insights and strategic recommendations. The final policy paper will be disseminated to key stakeholders to support policy translation. For fostering public discourse, I plan to utilize media platforms, including op-eds, blog posts, and podcasts, to raise awareness about the importance of India-Australian cooperation in infrastructure and connectivity. By making the research accessible through these channels, the study seeks to contribute actively to shaping informed policy and public opinion in both nations.

What are you most excited for during your trip to Australia?

I am very excited to work with the dynamic team of the United States Study Centre, whose impactful work I have long followed, and which aligns closely with my research interests. Additionally, I am excited about the opportunity to engage with experts, policymakers, and private sector, who are integral to maritime infrastructure projects. As an important country which has achieved significant progress in port development and trade facilitation, a firsthand interaction with key stakeholders in Sydney, Canberra and Perth will not only enrich my understanding of Australia’s strategic approaches and technological advancements but also foster collaborative relationships that are essential for the joint initiatives with India. Visiting key seaport facilities in Sydney and Perth will provide practical insights that are vital for grounding my research in real-world applications. Beyond research, I am thrilled about the prospect of spending six months in the vibrant city of Sydney, immersing myself in the multicultural experiences that the city is renowned for.