On 28th April 2021, Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (East) Mrs Riva Ganguly Das virtually co-chaired the 23rd ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-India Senior Officials’ Meeting with Permanent Secretary of Thailand Mr Thani Thongphakdi.
- Thailand served as Country Coordinator for ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations for the last three years – 2018-21, Singapore will be the next Country Coordinator (2021-24, it is a 3-year term).
- The meeting witnessed participation from all 10 ASEAN Member States and India.
- During the meeting, members reviewed the status of ongoing ASEAN-India cooperation in the areas of political-security, economic, socio-cultural and developmental cooperation.
i.ASEAN officials welcomed India’s proposal to celebrate the year 2022 as ASEAN-India Friendship Year.
- 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the ASEAN-India sectoral partnership (joined in 1992), 25th anniversary of dialogue partnership, 20th anniversary of Summit-level partnership and 10 years of Strategic Partnership.
ii.The participants discussed steps to be taken for implementing the ASEAN-India Plan of Action (2021-25).
- They also discussed ways to strengthen the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership and their cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
- India emphasized ASEAN members to explore the coordination between India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) & ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) to strengthen the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership.
- It is an economic union founded in 1967. It promotes intergovernmental cooperation between Southeast Asian nations.
- It has 10 members – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
- It is India’s 4th Largest Trading Partner. India’s export to ASEAN stands at 11.28%.
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i.On 1st February 2021 Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ addressed the inaugural session of 2021’s ASEAN-India Hackathon.
About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Chair of 2021 – Brunei Darussalam (Theme of its ASEAN Chairmanship is “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”).
Secretary-General – H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi (2018 -2022)
Headquarters – Jakarta, Indonesia
About Ministry of External Affairs (MEA):
Union Minister- Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (Rajya Sabha, Gujarat)
Minister of State- V. Muraleedharan (Lok Sabha – Vadakara, Kerala)