16th ASEAN-India Summit
India & world
12th Nov, 2019
- Recently, 16th ASEAN-India Summit during the 35th ASEAN Summit was held in Thailand.
- The Prime Minister of Thailand General Prayut Chan-o-Cha chaired this 16th ASEAN-India Summit and Prime Minister of our country Narendra Modi co-chaired it.
- In the early 1990s the significant changes in the world’s political and economic scenario made India march towards economic liberalisation. So, India being a South Asian country started focussing on a strengthened and multi-faceted relationship with ASEAN, an association of South East Asian countries.
- This search of India for economic space resulted in the ‘Look East Policy’. Later, this Look East Policy in 2014 after 12 ASEAN-India summits matured into a dynamic and action oriented ‘Act East Policy’.
- The up-gradation of the relationship into a Strategic Partnership in 2012 was a natural progression to the ground covered since India became a Sectoral Partner of the ASEAN in 1992, Dialogue Partner in 1996 and Summit Level Partner in 2002. There are, in total, 30 Dialogue Mechanisms between India and ASEAN, cutting across various sectors.
- To strengthen engagement with ASEAN, India has set up a separate Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta, Indonesia with a dedicated Ambassador.
Outcomes of this relation:
- Strengthening Security: Due to its strategic location, ASEAN is at the centre of Indo-Pacific region with the greatest potential for security and growth for all in the region. India and ASEAN can provide each other with coordination, cooperation and sharing of experiences at multiple levels in response to today’s rising export of terror, growing radicalization through ideology of hatred and spread of extreme violence.
- Booming Economy: ASEAN-India relation has led to benefitting both by steadily growing trade and investment, with ASEAN becoming India's fourth largest trading partner. With the implementation of ASEAN-India Agreements on Trade in Service and Investments, there has been increase in FDI inflows to each other. There has been enhancement in private sector engagement after setting up of ASEAN India-Business Council (AIBC).
- Growing Socio-Cultural Ties: There has been a boost in People-to-People Interaction due to organisation of a large number of programmes such as invitation of ASEAN students to India each year for the Students Exchange Programme, Special Training Course for ASEAN diplomats, Exchange of Parliamentarians, Participation of ASEAN students in the National Children’s Science Congress, ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks and ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Lecture Series.
- Increasing connectivity: There is increase in support to promote projects that provide physical and digital connectivity between India and ASEAN. Separate Project Development Funds are released for it. There has been considerable progress in implementing the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and a possible extension of it to Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam is under consideration.