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20th ASEAN India Summit
The 20th ASEAN-India Summit, which recently took place in Jakarta, Indonesia, had the theme “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth.” During this summit, India’s Prime Minister addressed key points:
- ASEAN and India’s Act East Policy: The Prime Minister emphasized that ASEAN is a central pillar of India’s Act East Policy, underlining the importance of India’s relationship with Southeast Asian nations in its foreign policy approach.
- Support for ASEAN’s Outlook: India expressed its support for ASEAN’s outlook on ASEAN-India centrality and the Indo-Pacific. This reflects India’s commitment to regional cooperation and stability.
- Common Interest in Indo-Pacific: The Prime Minister highlighted the significance of a free and open Indo-Pacific and the importance of amplifying the voices of the Global South. This indicates India’s commitment to working with ASEAN and other nations for mutual benefit and shared regional interests.
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ASEAN Summit 2023 Highlights
An important step was recently taken to strengthen economic cooperation between India and the ASEAN member nations at the 20th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ Meeting in Semarang, Indonesia.
Strengthening Economic Partnership
- In order to provide significant benefits for both parties, the summit emphasized the shared commitment to strengthen the ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
- The ministers emphasized the value of promoting economic cooperation in view of the Pandemic’s problems.
- In 2022–2023, bilateral trade between India and ASEAN reached USD 131.5 billion, accounting for 11.3% of India’s overall trade.
ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC)
- The ministers recognized the work done by AIBC in 2023, particularly the 5th ASEAN-India Business Summit that took place in Kuala Lumpur in March of that year.
- The governments of ASEAN and India established the AIBC in 2005 with the goal of promoting stronger business ties and offering an industrial perspective to the widening and strengthening of economic ties between ASEAN and India.
- Businesses’ worries about non-tariff barriers (NTBs) were acknowledged, underlining the increased dialogues and contacts between stakeholders on both sides.
- Any barrier to trade that does not entail the imposition of a direct tariff or customs duty on imported products is referred to as a non-tariff barrier (NTB).
Addressing Regional and Global Challenges
- The ministers discussed the multifaceted consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, financial market instability, inflation, and geopolitical tensions among the complex panorama of regional and global concerns.
- Strong Supply Chains, Food Security, Energy Security, Health, and Financial Stability were recognized as key areas for cooperation.
AITIGA Review – A Key Agenda
- The meeting’s in-depth examination of the 2009-signed ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) was a key component.
- A meeting of the AITIGA Joint Committee, which decided on the review’s schedule, came before the debates.
- During this procedure, the terms of reference and work schedule for the AITIGA review negotiations were resolved.
Endorsement and Commencement of Review
- The review documents for AITIGA were formally approved by the ministers, opening the stage for the formal opening of negotiations with predetermined modalities.
- The start of the AITIGA review promises to improve the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and make it more advantageous for both parties and conducive to trade, which is a long-standing desire from Indian enterprises.
- It was decided to hold negotiations on a quarterly basis in order to finish the AITIGA review by 2025. It is believed that this review process will improve trade diversification while addressing current trade imbalances.
ASEAN Summit 2023 Venue
The 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, scheduled to take place from 4 to 7 September 2023, will be hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia. Jakarta will serve as the venue for a series of meetings, including those related to the Political-Security Pillar (CPR, SOM, AMM, APSC, ACC) and Economic Pillar (Prep-SEOM, AECC), bringing together leaders and representatives from ASEAN member states to discuss various regional and global issues, fostering cooperation, and advancing the objectives of ASEAN.
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ASEAN Summit Background
As for ASEAN itself, it was established in 1967 with the Bangkok Declaration and comprises 10 founding members, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, along with Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. ASEAN’s motto is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community,” and its objective is to accelerate economic growth, social progress, and cultural development in the region.
ASEAN operates with a rotating chairmanship among member states, with important decisions made through consensus and in accordance with principles such as non-interference in internal affairs and peaceful conflict resolution. The ASEAN Secretariat is based in Jakarta, Indonesia, and plays a pivotal role in facilitating the organization’s functions and initiatives. The 20th ASEAN-India Summit served as a platform for strengthening ties between India and ASEAN countries while emphasizing shared objectives and regional cooperation. Check all about ASEAN Countries in detail here.
ASEAN Summit 2020 held in which Country
The ASEAN Summit in 2020 was originally scheduled to be held in Vietnam. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the summit was conducted virtually, with the leaders participating via video conferencing.
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