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