ASEAN and India : The relationship - Seeker's Thoughts

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ASEAN and India : The relationship

4th India-ASEAN Expo and Summit 2019
The 4th India – ASEAN expo and Summit 2019 would provide much needed opportunities for increasing the trade and collaborations between India and 10 ASEAN members. 

Even, the expo brought some attention towards terrorism as well.

According to the recently published United Nations’ World Economic Situation and Prospects Report 2019, India and ASEAN are set to outpace the global growth. 

India continues to be the fastest growing major economy and is expected to grow at 7.2% in 2019 and ASEAN at 5.2%, with many economies within ASEAN with a growth of more than 6%.  
Suresh Prabhu addressing the gathering (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/SureshPPrabhu)

Benefits of Such events

The trade creates opportunities for growth, and employment. It brings ‘shared prosperity’ in the region.

ASEAN has emerged as one the prominent trade partner of India for the year of 2017-2018.

The trade has grown despite of trade tensions and tightened marker conditions.

According to the government source, the trade has touched – 72.3 billion compared to the year 2017.

ASEAN stands for the Association of South East Asian Nations. This is a regional intergovernmental group where the governments of ten ASEAN countries promote economic, political, social, security and military co operation since 1967.

India is not a member of ASEAN group yet these countries hold importance for India under her act east policy.

The world has going towards protectionism gradually, which in long run may create turmoil in the world. 
Reasons for India and ASEAN Ties
- Demands in western region for goods has reduced. 
- Countries need to find the new market which India can provide due to the large population demands
- The world is multipolar and the tension rises among great power of the world like U.S, Russia, and U.S and china. 
- Non aligned countries need to be together and form alliances. 
- China's  growing presence in Indo- pacific region
- Geographical Proximity (Closeness) of India and ASEAN will serve the interest of both the nations. 

AREAS for Growing co-operation

Security, connectivity, commerce and culture will work as pillars for India and ASEAN group.
  1. Security - Stronger relation with Myanmar has helped India to curb insurgency in the northeast region. India will further enhance security cooperation with Myanmar. Terrorism is on the rise, so all countries need to further enhance security cooperation with one another.
  2. Connectivity- Between India and ASEAN will serve better interest for these countries. Some of the projects are- a trilateral highway between northeastern state to Thailand (IMT Project- India Myanmar Thailand project. ) Kaladan Multimodal transit and transport project have been under implementation for years. Rih Tedim Project in Myanmar was in progress to enhance connectivity between India and ASEAN Nations. It will provide all weather road. Process of Kalewa Yargi road is speed up. India- Myanmar- Thailand Motor Vehicle act has also come in picture. 
  3. Commerce- While the volume of trade and investment flows between ASEAN and India remained low foreign direct investments (FDI) flow from India to ASEAN increased by 9.4 percent, from $0.96 billion in 2015 to $1.05 billion in 2016.
     India’s two-way trade with ASEAN now stands at approximately USD 76 billion. • The India-ASEAN Free Trade pact in services and investments, which was concluded in 2014 and came into effect a year later, has the potential to reduce India’s trade deficit with the region as also impart a strong impulse to bilateral exchanges
  4. Culture- The large Indian diasporas in many Southeast Asian countries help strengthen diplomatic, economic and security relations between India and ASEAN as they contribute to expand and intensify bonds. The Indian diaspora comprises an important instrument of India’s soft power.

There remains a huge scope for India and ASEAN to collaborate more in areas like Digital technologies. Bay of Bengal can be used as exploratory ground for the development. There is culture connect between countries, so the relation between India and ASEAN has huge potential to develop and for the progress of the region. 


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