All 10 Asean leaders arrive in India today for commemorative summit

This will be Modi's second multilateral engagement of the week after addressing the opening plenary of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland's Davos.

Modi will hold bilateral talks with Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who will arrive in India on Thursday. In terms of politics-security, India reaffirmed that ASEAN is central to its "Act East Policy" as well as sharing its views with ASEAN on building a regional structure based on open, comprehensive and balanced rules, while considering its comprehensive connectivity with ASEAN as a focus point. The dialogue partnership between ASEAN and India was established in 1992 and was upgraded to a full dialogue relationship in December 1995. Six years later, India became a summit-level partner.

During its history, ASEAN has developed respectable relations with India. Suresh K Reddy was appointed as first resident Ambassador of Indian Mission to ASEAN and the Mission started functioning from its new Chancery premises from January 2015. The programme has been organised for the last 10 years by the External Affairs Ministry along with CII.

According to official Indian figures, the country's trade with ASEAN increased to US$70 billion in the 2016-17 financial year from $65 billion in 2015-2016.

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) Chairman Devendra Kumar Singh said both India and ASEAN can collaborate to meet future food challenges. This shows that India maintains a trade deficit with the multilateral union. He also stressed on the importance of improved connectivity and investment in quality infrastructure for achieving higher trade and investment for India.He added that India is now working with ASEAN on multiple connectivity projects for land, air and water.

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With the advance of the 4th Industrial Revolution, India as a leading country may forge stronger cooperation with ASEAN in such areas as innovation, connectivity of various industrial sectors and participation in global value chains, which in turn will help create an enabling environment for the development of bilateral ties.

Terrorism is another area where India and ASEAN find some common ground.

Speaking on the occasion, ASEAN representatives also stressed on closer ties with India. Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia Samdech Techo Hun Sen India has also arrived in India for the ASEAN India Commemorative Summit.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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