Location dimension of geo-politics is one of the most misunderstood aspects of understanding geopolitical variables. Just by having the advantages of precious mineral resources, a location may not get geopolitical benefits. On a local level, Indian States of Bihar and Jharkhand are enormously backward. On the same note many African countries with their rare natural resources and wild life are not doing too well. On the other hand, countries like Japan, Singapore, Mauritius, and Indian State of Gujrat are able to do well by forging strategic relationships with such entities which matter on the global scale. These off located places have progressed well due to factors like – proximity to a super power, located on the important Sea Routes, having rich neighborhood, internal policies attracting huge investments and interest from all over the world. These places, however tend to always exploit their strategic locations in one way or the other.
Italy benefitted from the reconstruction of Europe after WWII, especially in the tile manufacturing, Canada benefitted from being close to the world’s most happening country (same is true for the fortunes of Mexico). Many new entrants of EU have benefitted from being part of Europe.
Location can create strategic advantages and forge strategic relationships with mutual benefits. Most of the regionalism in the world is based on these motivations.
However we have several examples in the world which may indicate that other factors which make such obvious strategic advantages are not exploited even in the most tempting situations. Example of ‘no trade’ between India and Pakistan in spite of a long and porous border between the two countries & almost no relation between North Korea and South Korea, are some interesting phenomenon to mention. These events are strange in nature and defy any geopolitical understanding. India’s refusal to forge stronger trade ties with a rising China, of which India can be a sure beneficiary being its immediate neighbor, India’s failure to take the agenda of SAARC forward are some of the other examples of missed opportunities.
An interesting aspect of location dimension of Geopolitics is the need of the economically strong countries to have conducive strategic ties with its neighbors for sustaining their own supremacy in the world. US’s continued support to the economic well being of its partnering neighbors like Canada and Mexico is the result of correct understanding of the process of geopolitics. It has always resulted in geopolitical gains for US. On the same note, it is in India’s interest to start the process of not being suspicious of its neighbors and start the process of forging economic ties with its neighbor. In other words, India’s has still not succeeded in taking geopolitical advantages by having a conducive neighborhood.