Sat. May 18th, 2024

ASEAN and Indian senior government officials and experts are meeting in
New Delhi, India at their fifth dialogue to discuss visions of
both sides’ partnership and prosperity.

Opened on February 19,
the dialogue sees talks on India-ASEAN security cooperation,
non-traditional security challenges, like food security, water
management and pandemics, and the future of global energy market with
the role of new and renewable energy in sustainable development.

The
participants also touch on cooperation between Cambodia, Laos,
Myanmar and Vietnam and North-east India and how to expand networks
through land, sea and air connectivity.

Vietnam’s Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh was among the delegates to the two-day event.

Addressing
the opening, Indian Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid said
the dialogue creates a forum for government and business representatives
to discuss political, economic and security issues of India and
ASEAN of mutual concern.

The topic of the dialogue underscores
India and ASEAN’s desire to promote their strategic partnership for
peace, progress and prosperity, he said.

According
to the Indian Minister, India and ASEAN population make up
one-fourth of the world’s total and their combined GDP being 3.8
trillion USD.

Two-way trade reached 70 billion USD
ahead of schedule last year and the figure will be targeted at 100
billion USD by 2015.

Both sides have jointly settled
non-traditional challenges and safeguarded security-political
environment. India has actively participated in ASEAN forums and
constantly backed ASEAN centrality in the regional architecture, he
added.

He also underlined India-ASEAN cooperation in
smashing international terrorism, trans-national organised crimes,
money laundering, drug trafficking and cyber security.

For his part, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh emphasised India’s “Look East” policy that has been implementing since 1991 to enhance
its relations with ASEAN members.

Minh said: “Over
the past two decades, ASEAN has engaged India in a relationship
which had grown rapidly to a full dialogue partnership in 1995, further
strengthened with the convening of annual summits since 2002 and most
recently, last year, elevated to strategic partnership.

“From a relationship which mainly emphasised economic cooperation, the
ASEAN-India partnership has developed into one of ASEAN’s most
comprehensive, dynamic and fast-growing partnerships spanning across a
whole spectrum of political-security, economic, social-cultural and
development collaboration,” he noted.

He also
suggested both ASEAN and Indian officials undertake a mid-term review of
the implementation of this Plan of Action and map out the course of
actions and possible joint activities from now until 2015.-VNA

By vivian