The 19th ASEAN-India Summit was held recently in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. India was represented by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar.

 

Details

  • At the end of summit, both sides released a joint statement reaffirming the importance of —
    • maintaining and promoting peace, stability, maritime safety, freedom of navigation and overflight in the Indo-Pacific region, and
    • commitment to peaceful resolution of disputes, in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS.
  • The joint declaration called for establishing a comprehensive strategic partnership and enhancing cooperation against terrorism.
  • The ASEAN states appreciated India’s support for ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture.
  • It also appreciated India’s continued contribution to regional peace, security, and prosperity and to ASEAN integration and the ASEAN community-building process.
  • India and ASEAN also agreed to enhance cooperation against terrorism and transnational crimes, including international economic crimes and money laundering, cybercrime, drugs and human trafficking, and arms smuggling.
  • They also called for deepening cooperation in military medicine.

 

Background

  • ASEAN-India Summits are held annually. It provides opportunity for India and ASEAN to engage at the highest level.
  • PM Modi attended the 18th ASEAN-India Summit held virtually in October 2021. This year’s summit is attended by the Vice President of India.

 

ASEAN-India relationship

  • ASEAN and India became Summit-level partners in 2002, and Strategic partners in 2012.
  • There is ample closeness between India’s “Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative” and ASEAN’s “Outlook on Indo Pacific”.
  • India firmly believes that a “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN” is essential for “Security and Growth for All in the Region”.
  • The year 2022 marks 30 years of ASEAN-India relations and it has been designated as ASEAN-India Friendship Year by the leaders in October 2021.

 

India-ASEAN trade relations

  • In general, ASEAN is India’s 4th largest trading partner and India is ASEAN’s 7th largest trading partner accounting for 10.2% of India’s total trade.
  • India’s total trade with ASEAN from April 2021 to March 2022 was $78.90 billion. Balance of trade is highly favourable to ASEAN.
      • On the other hand, ASEAN became China’s largest trading partner in 2020 and remains so.
      • ASEAN’s total trade with China in for the period January to April 2022 amounted to $274.50 billion.
      • ASEAN and India have set a trade target of 200 billion USD by 2022.
  • Investment Between 2000-2021 cumulative FDIs from ASEAN to India was $117.88 billion. These were mainly accounted for by Singaporean investments in India ($115 billion).
  • Indian investment into ASEAN since April 2019 till March 2022 is US$ 55.5 billion out of which US$ 51.5 billion investment is in Singapore.
  • On trade and investment, the review of ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) has been long pending. India has called for an early review of the Agreement.
  • AITIGA has been in place since 2010.