On October 28, 2021, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi co-chaired the virtual 18th India-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit 2021 at the invitation of Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah (the current Chair of ASEAN). Leaders of ASEAN Member States have participated in the summit.
- As the year 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the India-ASEAN Partnership, the ASEAN leaders announced 2022 as India-ASEAN Friendship Year.
i.PM and the ASEAN leader has welcomed the adoption of the India-ASEAN Joint Statement on cooperation for peace, stability and prosperity in the Southeast Asian region to combine the ASEAN Outlook for the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI).
ii.India’s contribution in COVID-19: PM highlighted India’s contribution of medical supplies worth USD 200,000 to ASEAN’s humanitarian initiative for Myanmar and USD 1 million for ASEAN’s Covid-19 Response Fund.
iii.Cultural: PM announced India’s support for establishing the ASEAN Cultural Heritage List to strengthen India-ASEAN cultural connectivity.
iv.Trade: PM insisted on the need to revamp the India-ASEAN FTA (Free Trade Agreement).
- The ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement which was signed at the 7th ASEAN Economic Ministers-India Consultations in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2009 is referred to as the ASEAN-India FTA (the Agreement came into force in 2010).
- The trade between India and ASEAN in 2019-20 was increased to US$86 billion from US$81.3 billion in 2017-18.
v.PM has welcomed Cambodia as the new chair of ASEAN (2022) and Singapore as the ASEAN country co-ordinator (for India) for dialogue relations (2021 – 2024).
vi.The PM proposed an Indian and ASEAN Start-up festival as part of Friendship Year celebration in 2022.
-PM Participated in 16th EAS 2021
On October 27, 2021, PM had virtually participated in the 16th East Asia Summit (EAS) 2021. This summit was Narendra Modi’s 7th EAS.16th East Asia Summit was hosted by Brunei as EAS and ASEAN Chair.
- The 16th EAS discussed important regional and international issues including Indo-Pacific, South China Sea, UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), terrorism, and the situation in the Korean Peninsula and Myanmar.
- The EAS leaders also accepted the 3 Statements on Mental Health, Economic recovery through Tourism, and Sustainable Recovery, which have been co-sponsored by India.
- The leaders affirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, safety and security in the South China Sea, and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight.
- Participants – It saw the participation of leaders from ASEAN countries and other EAS Participating Countries including Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, USA and India. India has been an active participant of EAS.
Recent Related News:
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.
About Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN):
Establishment – 8 August 1967
Headquarters – Jakarta, Indonesia
Secretary-General – H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi
Members – 10 (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam)