India and ASEAN joint summit to be held in New Delhi summit
India and the 10-member ASEAN group’s meet to be held in
India’s capital New Delhi on January 25.
Both are hoping to strengthen ties with physical
connectivity playing a bigger role in linking the regions, and enhancing
opportunities for bilateral trade and travel, when they meet in New Delhi.
The leaders of the ASEAN will
also be strategic issues such as revival of the quadrilateral cooperation among
US, Japan and Australia, and deeper security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific
The forthcoming commemorative summit on the theme is ‘Shared
Values, Common Destiny’.
The meet will discuss the progress
achieved so far in some of the crucial projects, such as the Kaladan
multi-modal transit transport corridor and the 3,200-km India-Myanmar-Thailand
Trilateral Highway, which have been moving very slowly for more than a decade
The 3,200 km-long road begins at the India-Myanmar border
town of Moreh (in Manipur) and passes through several Myanmarese towns
including, Tamu, Kalewa, Yargyi, Monya, Mandalay, Meiktila, Myawaddy and
finally reaches Mae Sot in Thailand.
The four-lane highway is part of the proposed Asean
There is also a plan to link this
road with the Trans Asian Highway-1 that runs from Japan (via ferry) to Turkey,
where it connects the European highway after traversing through the Asian
ASEAN wants extension of trilateral highway to Laos,
Cambodia and Vietnam. With the Chinese moving fast, we are nowhere there.
The government recently approved an agreement to facilitate
border crossing between India and Myanmar.
The pact will facilitate regulation and harmonisation of
already existing free movement rights for people residing in the border areas
of both countries.
Also on the agenda would be the Rs 500-crore project
development fund announced by India to start investments in Cambodia, Laos,
Myanmar and Vietnam (also known as CLMV countries).
The CLMV countries cover 32% of the geographical area of the
Asean region and account for about 9% of ASEAN’s GDP.
The summit will also seek to address the most contentious
part of the relationship, which is bilateral trade between India and Asean.
ASEAN is India’s fourth largest trading partner. Bilateral
trade between India and Asean reached $70 billion in 2016-17, up from $65
billion in 2015-16.
India will be hosting leaders from Asean comprising Brunei,
Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore,
Thailand and Vietnam.