• 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.
• 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.
Mains Paper 2: International Relations
Prelims level: ASEAN-India strategic partnership