their way out o the crisis, deault, or urther regulate. Somediscussants argued that while the immediate causes o the crisis were known, there was a lack o political will toaddress them. But it was generally agreed that the nancialcrisis did accelerate the transer o power rom the Westto states such as China and India, and showed that thoseemerging economies were largely decoupled rom the West.While it was elt that India had initially responded well tothe nancial crisis aer 2008, several participants notedthat it had missed a unique opportunity to lure U.S. andEuropean investors seeking aster-growing markets. Instead,Indian leaders opted to ocus much more on the corrosiveeects o infation at home. Participants also discussed theG20 as a mechanism, in particular the role o the BRICScoalition in providing political cover or emerging econo-mies to assist developed countries. Tey also pointed toIndia’s active trade engagement with the likes o ASEAN,Japan, and South Korea standing in contrast to a muchmore mixed picture in the United States, which hadremained ambivalent about embarking upon urther reetrade initiatives. Participants also debated the eectivenesso India’s new trade agreements, whether FAs provided a“back door” or urther economic reorms India, the pros-pects o nalizing the EU-India ree trade agreement, andthe long-term easibility o U.S. trade agreements with boththe European Union and India.
Cooperation on Afghanistan, China, Myanmar,and the Global Commons
Although the United States retains its position as an inter-nationally infuential actor, India and the countries o Europe (either individually or collectively) play importantroles in relations with several states and on globally-relevantissues, presenting opportunities or enhancing trilateralcooperation and coordination.
Aghanistan — a country in which the United States,Europe, and India all have important presences and vitalsecurity interests — represents an obvious opportunity or trilateral collaboration. Participants at the India rilat-eral Forum shared a certain amount o cautious optimismabout developments in Aghanistan and agreed that theannounced transition in 2014 did not represent the end o the road or international engagement. Te counterinsur-gency strategy, it was elt, had proved partly successul butthe training o Aghan security orces, while on track tomeet its numerical target, suered still rom inconsistenciesin quality. raining was nonetheless expected to continueaer 2014 in a bid to limit damage and prevent Aghani-stan’s collapse. More importantly, the Aghan people had yetto express a loss in condence despite announcements o withdrawal by the United States and NAO. Additionally,long-term commitments to Aghanistan’s economic devel-opment and the important symbolism attached to strategicpartnership agreements with Kabul were emphasized, aswas India’s centrality as a model or Aghanistan.Participants also expressed interest in Aghanistan’s emer-gence as a commercial hub, with Pakistan acting as animportant conduit or trade with India. India’s role indeveloping Aghanistan’s inchoate markets was discussed,particularly the employment that could be generated by urther investments, tari reductions, and technical assis-tance in such sectors as mining, textiles, and even inorma-tion technology. Yet there was disagreement about how to achieve that end state, and how to change the calculuso the Pakistan army, which remained a barrier to deepercommercial linkages with Aghanistan. Some participantscautioned against overestimating India’s role in Aghanistan— despite the eectiveness o its aid and public outreach —noting the limits presented by adverse geographic circum-stances. Several Indians noted their country’s reconciliationto new realities on the ground, adding that greater clarity on the part o the West would be benecial. Finally, partici-pants debated the role o Iran, noting the absence o opposi-tion by the United States to India’s use o that country as aconduit. However, some participants cautioned that therewas “less than meets the eye” on India’s relations with Iran,and that ehran had larger stakes in appearing to cooperatewith India than the outcome o the Aghanistan confict.
Te Indians, Europeans, and Americans present alsoexpressed similar views about China, pointing to the innatetension between greater interdependence and their indi- vidual security and economic concerns. Much dependedon whether China’s rise would be inexorable, revisionist,