Establishment of ASEAN
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Brunei Darussalam then joined on 7 January 1984, Viet Nam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999, making up what is today the ten Member States of ASEAN.
India has been following a “Look East Policy” since 1990s. India became a sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN in 1992, which was upgraded to full dialogue partnership in 1996. Since 2002, we have had annual Summits with ASEAN. To mark the 20th anniversary of our dialogue-level partnership and the 10th anniversary of our Summit-level partnership with ASEAN, India would be hosting the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit on the theme “ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace and Shared Prosperity” in New Delhi on December 20-21, 2012.
ASEAN-India functional cooperation is diverse and includes cooperation across a range of sectors, such as trade, science & technology, human resource development, space sciences, agriculture, new and renewable energy, information and communication technology, telecommunications, transport and infrastructure, tourism and culture.
At the 7th ASEAN-India Summit in October, 2009, India announced a contribution of USD 50 million to the ASEAN-India Co-operation Fund to support ASEAN-India projects across the range of sectors mentioned above. In addition, India has set up an ASEAN-India Science &Technology Development Fund with an initial corpus fund of USD 1 million and a USD 5 million ASEAN-India Green Fund for pilot projects to promote adaptation and mitigation technologies in the field of climate change.
The ASEAN-India Trade-in-Goods Agreement signed in August 2009 at the ASEAN-India Economic Ministerial Meeting held in Bangkok, became fully operational from August 2011 when the process of ratification by all the ASEAN countries was completed. In 2011-12, the total trade between India and ASEAN increased by 37% to reach USD 79.86 billion thereby surpassing the trade target of USD 70 billion by 2012, ahead of time. Negotiations for an ASEAN-India FTA in Services and Investments are currently underway.
Co-operation between India and ASEAN is being intensified, including in the cultural, educational and academic fields, through the promotion of people-to-people contacts, and initiatives such as Youth Exchange Programmes, Special Training Courses for ASEAN Diplomats, Media Exchange Programmes and the ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks Meeting. India has established Centres for English Language training (CELT) and Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDC) in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV countries).
An Indian Parliamentary delegation attended the 31st General Assembly of ASEAN Inter Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) held in Hanoi, Vietnam from 20-25 September, 2010, where India was accorded “Observer Status” by AIPA. The Indian Parliamentary delegation also attended the 32nd General Assembly of AIPA held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from 18-24 September 2011 and extended an invitation to an AIPA delegation to visit India. An AIPA delegation led by the President of AIPA and Speaker of Speaker of the House of Representatives of Indonesia, Dr. Marzuki Alie visited India from July 29 to August 1, 2012.
An ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Group (AIEPG) has been set up to draft a new ASEAN-India Vision – 2020 document to be adopted at the Commemorative Summit. Three meetings of the AIEPG have been held in Phnom Penh from 2-3 August, 2011, New Delhi from 20-21 October, 2011 and Kuala Lumpur from 9-10 March, 2012. The fourth and final meeting is scheduled to be held in Kochi from 16-17 September, 2012.
Delhi Dialogue IV on the theme “India and ASEAN: Partners for Peace, Progress and Stability” was held from February 13-14, 2012 in New Delhi which also flagged off ASEAN-India Commemorative Year celebration. The visit of the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR)s to India from February 12-17, 2012 coincided with Delhi-Dialogue IV.
At the 8th ASEAN-India Summit held in Hanoi, Vietnam, in October, 2010, Prime Minister announced the extension of Visa on Arrival facility to Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and Laos with effect from January 1, 2011. Visa on arrival facility now stands extended to 7 ASEAN countries (Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines).
A MoU on Strengthening Tourism Co-operation between India and ASEAN was signed at the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Tourism on January 12, 2012, in Manado, Indonesia.
The 9th ASEAN-India Summit was held in Bali, Indonesia on 19 November, 2011. The Leaders took stock of the progress made in the ASEAN-India relationship and agreed to enhance co-operation on a range of issues, including trade, maritime security, food and energy security, and physical and people-to-people connectivity. They reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen ASEAN-India cooperation, through the implementation of the Plan of Action 2010-15, in the run-up to the Commemorative Summit. The 10th ASEAN-India Summit would be held in Cambodia on November 19-20, 2012.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-India dialogue partnership and the 10th anniversary of ASEAN-India Summit-level partnership, India is hosting the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi on December 20-21, 2012. The theme of the summit is ‘ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace and Shared Prosperity’. At the Summit, Leaders of India and ASEAN are expected to chart the future direction of ASEAN-India relations. This would also include recommendations by the ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Group (AIEPG).
Enhancing relations with ASEAN has been central to India’s “Look East Policy” and there has been steady progress in the ASEAN-India relations since the policy was initiated in early 90s. India became a sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN in 1992, which was upgraded to full dialogue partnership in 1996. Since 2002, we have had annual Summits with ASEAN.
ASEAN and India share the desire that the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit be the culmination of a year-long celebration of the partnership. India is planning a number of Government to Government activities and People to People initiatives in consultation with ASEAN capitals in the run up to the Summit during the Commemorative year. The Logo for the Commemorative Summit was launched by External Affairs Minister at a special event organized on the side-lines of the 10th ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh on July 11, 2012.
Two flagship events being organized as part of the commemorative year events are the Shipping Expedition of INS Sudarshini to ASEAN countries and the ASEAN-India Car Rally, 2012.
With common developmental and strategic interests along with emerging security challenges concerning both sides, India and ASEAN hope to take this relationship forward.
ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit 2012
To mark the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-India dialogue partnership and the 10th anniversary of ASEAN-India Summit-level partnership, India hosted the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi on December 20-21, 2012. The theme of the summit was ‘ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace and Shared Prosperity’.
The Summit has resulted in the adoption of the Vision Statement which will chart the future direction of ASEAN-India relations. The ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Group (AIEPG) submitted their recommendations to the Leaders on future relations between ASEAN and India at the 10th ASEAN-India Summit in Phnom Penh.
Enhancing relations with ASEAN has been central to India’s “Look East Policy” and there has been steady progress in the relationship with ASEAN countries since the policy was initiated in 1991. India became a sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN in 1992, and a full dialogue partner in 1996. Since 2002, we have had annual Summits with ASEAN. After the Commemorative Summit on Dec 20-21 2012 in Delhi, India has become a strategic partner of ASEAN.
The ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit was the culmination of several events organized in celebration of the partnership. These included a number of Ministerial level Meetings, people to people initiatives, B2B activities and cultural programmes both in India and the ASEAN countries.
The Logo for the Commemorative Summit was launched by External Affairs Minister at a special event organized on the sidelines of the 10th ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh on July 11, 2012. (Details)
External Affairs Minister with his ASEAN Counterparts at the launch of the logo forthe Special ASEAN-India Commomerative Summit in Phnom Penh (July 11, 2012). (Click here for photos.)
Two flagship events were organized as part of the commemorative year: Shipping Expedition of INS Sudarshini to ASEAN countries (on-going till March 2013) and the ASEAN-India Car Rally 2012.
The INS Sudarshini Shipping Expedition was flagged off on 15 September 2012 from Kochi and is scheduled to conclude on 29 March 2013. The shipping expedition traces the ancient trade route along the monsoon winds and is conceptualized to highlight India’s traditional and current maritime linkages with South East Asia and emphasize connectivity and the continuous flow of intellectual ideas, economic trade and the civilizational interface between the people of the region. INS Sudarshini would call on ports in nine ASEAN countries during this expedition. Various “Marker” events – B2B events by FICCI and ICC, Kolkata and cultural events by ICCR – are being organized at various ports of call.
The 2nd edition of the ASEAN-India Car Rally 2012 was flagged off from Yogjakarta, Indonesia on November 26, 2012.
After passing through several capitals and cultural and commercial centres, covering a distance of 7448 kms over 19 days, the Rally was flagged-down at Guwahati on December 17, 2012. The rally was then received by the Leaders of ASEAN and India in New Delhi on December 21, 2012, on the occasion of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit.
“Marker” events, including business seminars, tourism road-shows, cultural performances, etc. were also organized along the route of the Car Rally by Indian Missions, CII, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Tourism and ICCR.
India is sending a Sail Training Ship “INS Sudarshini” on a commemorative ship expedition to ASEAN countries along the route of the monsoon trade winds. The ship expedition would retrace the sea routes developed during the 10th to 12th centuries, linking India with South East Asia, covering most of the modern and ancient ports in ASEAN countries.
The ship expedition was conceptualized to demonstrate India’s historical proximity with its ASEAN neighbours and to commemorate the longstanding ASEAN-India maritime and trade relationship. The expedition would also enhance people-to-people and naval links between India and the ASEAN nations. INS Sudarshini is a ‘Sail Training Ship’ built by the Goa Shipyard Ltd and was commissioned in 2011. This is the second Sail Training Ship in its class, after INS Tarangini, which was commissioned in 1997.
INS Sudarshini sailed from 15 September 2012 to 25 March 2013. The ship made 13 ports of call in nine ASEAN countries apart from Kochi, Chennai and Port Blair in India during this period. The 13 ASEAN ports of call of the ship are: Padang, Bali, Manado, Brunei, Cebu, Manila, Da Nang, Sihanoukville, Bangkok, Singapore, Klang, Phuket and Sittwe.
Admiral DK Joshi, Chief of the Naval Staff flagged-off INS Sudarshini at Kochi on September 15, 2012. Press Release: link.
Various “Marker” events – commercial and cultural, were hosted by India at 12 of the ports of call, i.e. Bali, Manado, Brunei, Manila, Da Nang, Sihanoukville, Bangkok, Singapore, Klang, Phuket and Sittwe. Apart from these, a business marker event was hosted in Kuala Lumpur and a cultural event in Malacca, when INS Sudarshini is anchored in Klang. In India, marker events were organized in Kochi, Chennai and Port Blair.
INS Sudarshini is carried 35 naval cadets and 7 Officers. In order to further enhance Navy-to-Navy cooperation and camaraderie between the naval cadets of the Indian Navy and ASEAN member states’ Navies, as suggested by ASEAN countries, the ship picked up two naval officers/cadets of each ASEAN country from the first port of call in that ASEAN country until the next port of call.
India and ASEAN to work together to realize potentials in Agri and Food Sector
India has moved with a great sense of priority and speed to turn India’s “Look East Policy” into an “Act East Policy”. ASEAN is at the core of India’s Act East Policy and at the centre of our dream of an Asian century. These observations were made by Shri Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India while addressing the Run Up event on ASEAN India Cooperation in Food Security, Agriculture Technology And Food Engineering for Delhi Dialogue VII, here today. Referring to ASEAN India cooperation in agriculture and forestry, Mr. Wadhwa said that the sector forms an important part of the collaborative agenda between ASEAN and India. The Visions Statement adopted during the 2012 Commemorative Summit recognized the need to ensure long-term food security in the region and Mr. Wadhwa welcomed the efforts to strengthen cooperation in the agriculture sector between ASEAN and India. During the last ASEAN-India summit in November 2015 at Nay Pyi Taw, the President of Myanmar floated the idea of having a regional food mechanism. ASEAN and India will intensify their collaborative efforts towards this end.