Asia Times has a long study of India’s growing strategic and financial engagement with East Asia. A highlight:

India needs to add as much as US$500 billion in investment into its infrastructure and Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan have expressed interest in diversifying their investment beyond China. South Korea is India’s ninth-largest source of foreign investment, with Korean companies such as Daewoo, Hyundai, Samsung and LG having a significant presence in India. POSCO is investing $12 billion to construct an integrated steel plant in Orissa in India’s single-largest inward investment. Meanwhile, Singapore has emerged as India’s seventh-largest source of foreign investment with Temasek Holdings making significant investments in India’s financial, pharmaceutical, logistics and information technology sectors.

There have also been a number of Japanese investments in India, most notably in New Delhi’s metro subway system and Maruti. The Japanese government and corporate sector will also provide one-third of the funding for the $100 billion, 1,500 kilometer Delhi-Mumbai freight and industrial corridor, which is to begin construction in 2008 and be completed by 2012. Discussions are also proceeding on reaching a bilateral currency swap agreement between India and Japan. India is already the leading recipient of Japanese aid, receiving over $1 billion in 2005.

Numerous infrastructure projects also serve to tie India closer to East Asia. India is participating in the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific initiatives for an Asian Highway Network and the Trans-Asian Railway Network. Discussions are also proceeding on reopening the World War II-era Stilwell Road linking India’s Assam state with China’s Yunnan province through Myanmar. This follows the reopening of a direct overland trade route along the Nathu La Pass on the border between Sikkim and Tibet in July 2006 after 44 years.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s diversification from China to Vietnam and elsewhere is continuing apace. The China Post notes:

E-United Group, one of Taiwan’s leading conglomerates, is planning to build a town in Vietnam for one billion U.S. dollars that will include hospitals, schools, golf courses and business, the Economic Daily News reported Monday.

The group is targeting about 500 hectares of land (1,235 acres) near Hanoi for the investment which will use the company’s experience deployed at a similar project in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, the report said.

The Kaohsing-based group, whose core business is steel making, also runs a university, a high school and an elementary school and manages property development businesses. Vietnamese authorities hold a positive attitude towards the planned investment, the report said.

Taiwan is Vietnam’s largest foreign investor, according to a Taipei Times report from earlier this year:

Ke, who led institute officials to Vietnam for a fact-finding trip in January, said that Vietnam has witnessed ever-expanding economic growth over the past several years, averaging 7 percent to 8 percent annually.

He also cited International Telecommunications Union data that shows Vietnam registered the world’s second-highest growth in the telecommunications industry in recent years, behind only China.

He attributed Vietnam’s success mainly to the country’s abundant human resources.

Taiwan, which remains the largest investor in Vietnam, will benefit by continuing to increase its investment, Ke said.

Pham said that Vietnam, a relative “newcomer” to high-tech manufacturing, hopes to strengthen exchanges with Taiwan in this regard.

As of the end of last November, Taiwanese firms had channeled US$8.13 billion into Vietnam, constituting 13.74 percent of all foreign investment in Vietnam, the institute’s data showed.

Onward to India!