25 years of ASEAN-India partnership
Last week, on 25th and 26th January, India hosted the summit of the ASEAN heads of state to boost its ties with Southeast Asia, and to mark their 25 years of partnership.
The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises of Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
ASEAN heads of state and Indian PM, Modi (Photo: Twitter)
India's trade with ASEAN has grown to $71 billion, but remains modest when compared with China-ASEAN trade, which stands at $470 billion.
The visit of the ASEAN leaders is viewd as a milestone in India’s Act East policy whose goals appear to be two-pronged: boost India’s standing as a regional power by promoting strategic partnership in the region, and act as a counterweight to the increasing strategic influence of China.
Indian Prime Minister, Modi, delivers his opening remarks at the summit meeting (Photo: Twitter)
The focus of the meeting was on three key areas: counter-terrorism, security and connectivity.
One of the key issues for security and economic development in the region is the connectivity between India and ASEAN countries. Currently multiple connectivity projects have been initiated, through land (railway, highway), water (sea, river), and air; such as the India-Myanmar-Thailand, India-Cambodia-Vietnam Trilateral Highway projects.
These projects will help India remove its physical impediments to trading and transporting goods with ASEAN countries, and further integrate the Asian elephant into the region.
By MSEAP Cyber Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org)