Monday, November 21, 2011

9th India-ASEAN-Summit

The ninth India-Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit was held in Bali, Indonesia on November 19. Addressing the summit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that greater physical connectivity between India and the 10-member grouping remains New Delhi's “strategic objective.”
The prime minister listed proposals, among others, for an India-Myanmar-Thailand highway and its extension to Laos and Cambodia, and the development of a new highway also linking Vietnam. He also referred to a study on a Mekong-India economic corridor, which proposes to link corridors in the peninsular, and possibly the north-eastern, regions of India with the East Asian region.
The prime minister further urged ASEAN to take considered decisions to link the peninsular region with the North-east. He added: “I would suggest that all these different proposals should be studied in an integrated manner by our officials, so that we take considered decisions to optimize our resources and efforts.”
Trade Cooperation
India's trade with ASEAN had increased by 30 per cent in 2010-2011, crossing the $50-billion mark, and with such a rate of growth, the target of $70 billion by 2012 would be feasible.
India's trade with ASEAN has increased by 30 per cent in 2010-2011 and has crossed the $50 billion mark. According to the prime minister, "With such a rate of growth we should be able to achieve our trade target of $billion by 2012. Pushing for greater physical connectivity between India and ASEAN, 'remains the strategic objective70.'
There are several proposals under consideration with regard to land and sea connectivity, which include the India-Myanmar-Thailand Highway, its extension to Laos and Cambodia and the development of a new highway also linking Vietnam.
Implementation of ASEAN-India Plan
The successful implementation of the ASEAN-India Plan of Action for 2004-10 listing specific items of cooperation was followed by an 82-point Plan of Action for the period 2010-2015, about the ambitious document adopted at the Hanoi Summit in 2010.
India has forwarded a number of cooperative projects as part of this plan as well as part of the $50 million ASEAN-India Cooperation Fund to the ASEAN Secretariat.
Other Developments
In addition to the expansion of India-ASEAN cooperation in the fields of science and technology, space and information technology, several projects were under implementation under the ASEAN-India Science and Technology Fund.
Based on the feedback from the ASEAN, India's Department of Space has revised its proposal for a five-year project for establishing a tracking and reception station and data processing facility for the ASEAN countries and training of ASEAN personnel. India will convene a meeting of heads of space agencies of India and ASEAN in early 2012.
The summit also discussed the security-related issue including maritime security, counter-terrorism, training, exercises and disaster management.
The prime minister has proposed to hold the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit on December 20-21, 2012 in New Delhi.

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