India, ASEAN review strategic ties; adopt new five-year plan of action

• India and the 10-nation ASEAN on Saturday carried out a comprehensive review of their strategic partnership in a range of areas, including maritime cooperation, and adopted a new five-year plan of action to further boost overall ties.

About:

• At an ASEAN-India virtual meeting both sides reviewed status of ASEAN-India strategic partnership in several areas including maritime cooperation, connectivity, education and capacity building and people-to-people contacts.

• India-ASEAN region together comprise one-fourth of global population, and their combined GDP is estimated at USD 3.8 trillion.

• Progress in implementation of the ASEAN-India plan of action (2016-2020) was also reviewed and a new plan of action was adopted for the next five years.

Key points of Action plan includes:

• Political cooperation by strengthening existing mechanisms for consultation and cooperation.

• Enhance economic cooperation through capacity building and technical assistance programmes.

• Strengthening Security cooperation, promoting physical connectivity by completing India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway.

• Promote freedom of navigation, unimpeded commerce, and resolution of disputes by peaceful means.

Other issues discussed:

• To ways to strengthen cooperation to fight COVID-19 pandemic, exchanged views on important regional and international developments etc.

• This meeting at a came time when both India and ASEAN are engaged in territorial dispute with China. However, it is not immediately known whether these issues figured in the deliberations or not.

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Mains Paper 2: International Relations

Prelims level: ASEAN-India strategic partnership

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