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All India Radio (AIR) IAS UPSC - 16th India-ASEAN Summit
Published on Nov. 30, 2019, 12:44 p.m.

16th India-ASEAN Summit

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TOPIC: General Studies 2:
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora.

 “ASEAN is core of India’s Act East Policy,” says PM Modi

India's Act East Policy is an important part of its Indo-Pacific vision and ASEAN is the core of the Act East Policy. The 16th ASEAN-India Summit was held in Bangkok, Thailand on November 3, 2019.

An integrated, organized and economically developing ASEAN will immensely benefit India.

A. Connectivity: India is committed to strengthen its partnership with ASEAN through better surface, maritime, air and digital connectivity. 
  • India’s $ 1 billion worth line of credit is expected to be used to boost physical and digital connectivity. 
  • Intention is to increase people-to-people contact for research, study, trade and tourism.
B. Partnerships in different areas: India is committed to strengthening and further increase capacity building and partnerships in areas such as agriculture, research, science, engineering and Information and communications technology (ICT). C. Review of India ASEAN FTA:
  • Will improve the economic partnership between the two
  • Balance out their trade relations
  • Strengthen its partnership with ASEAN in areas including maritime security, blue economy and humanitarian aid
D. Combat terrorism: The leaders of the ASEAN nations expressed their wish to explore opportunities for strategic cooperation. E. India-Japan:
  • Discussed the progress achieved in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project
  • Reaffirmed their commitment towards creating a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region based on a rules-based order
  • Strengthen the bilateral cooperation to achieve peace in the Indo-Pacific region
F. India-Indonesia:
  • Strengthening ties with Indonesia in areas such as defence, security, connectivity, trade and investment and people-to-people exchanges
  • Enhance maritime cooperation to achieve peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region
  • Work closely at bilateral and global levels to tackle the issue of extremism and terrorism.
  • Invited the Indonesian companies to use the opportunities presented in India for investment. India and Indonesia are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations in 2019.
G. India-Thailand:
  • The leaders, while noting the enhanced engagement in defence and security, agreed to further explore possibilities of cooperation in the sector. 
  • The leaders further Acknowledged a 20 percent increase in the bilateral trade in 2018 and decided to further enhance trade and investment.
  • Discussed ways to boost connectivity between the two countries and welcome the growth in air connectivity with the start of a direct flight between Guwahati and Bangkok. 
  • More agreements have been finalized for cooperation between Thailand’s Ranong Port and Indian ports in Chennai, Kolkatta and Vishakapatnam. India and Thailand share a close maritime relationship.
H. India-Myanmar:
  • Reaffirmed India’s commitment to improve physical connectivity to and through Myanmar to Southeast Asia. The proposed initiatives including building port, road and other infrastructure
  • India also committed to support the expansion of capacity for Myanmar's police, military and civil servants, as well as its students and citizens. 
  • Enhance people to people connectivity, agreeing that it would help expand the base of the partnership. They welcomed the expansion of air connectivity between the two countries and the growing interest of India's businesses in Myanmar. 
  • Agreed to boost cooperation in ensuring that insurgent groups do not find space to operate across the India-Myanmar border
  • PM Modi also highlighted that the speedy, safe and secure return of the displaced Rohingyas to their homes in Rakhine state was not only important in the interest of the displaced community but also the interest of India, Myanmar and Bangladesh.