|Participants of the ASEAN-India Foreign Ministerial Meeting in Singapore on August 3|
They showed delight at the progress in the implementation of agreements reached during the summit as well as the outcomes of the Plan of Action in the 2016-2020 period with specific activities in various fields from politics-security to economy, culture-society, and people-to-people exchange.
ASEAN countries lauded India’s strengthening of its “Look East” policy aiming to foster partnership with the association and the region, hailing the role and contributions of India to peace, stability and cooperation in the region, and highly valuing India’s support to the ASEAN’s central role as well as active engagement in regional cooperation forums chaired by the ASEAN.
The Indian side affirmed that ASEAN is one of the key pillars in its external policies, and an important contact point between the Indian Ocean and Pacific regions. The country committed to promoting close ties with the ASEAN and actively supporting the bloc in building its community and strengthening regional connectivity.
Regarding orientations to promote the ASEAN-India relations in the coming time, the ministers agreed to forge stronger comprehensive cooperation in maritime cooperation; trade and investment felicitation with a target of US$200 billion in 2025; and connectivity between the two regions in both infrastructure and human.
The two sides will expand affiliation in creative areas such as information technology, digital economy, smart urban development, while working more closely in education, cultural exchange, people-to-people contact, thus strengthening mutual understanding.
The ministers agreed to name 2019 the ASEAN-India Tourism Year.
On the regional and international maters, ASEAN and India shared concerns about developments in the East Sea with militarization activities eroding trust and harming peace and stability in the region.
They highlighted the significance of maintaining peace, stability, maritime and aviation security, safety and freedom in regional seas, including the East Sea, while underscoring that all disputes must be settled through peaceful measures in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.
They showed hope for the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and encouraged efforts to build an effective and binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
On the occasion of Vietnam’s handing over of the role as the coordinator for ASEAN-India relations to Thailand, the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs lauded Vietnam’s active and effective efforts in promoting the ASEAN-India ties over the past three years, especially in the holding of the summit commemorating the 25 years of ties between the two sides in New Delhi as well as promoting initiatives in cooperation in maritime economy.
Minh stated that India and ASEAN have shared long-lasting trust and ties, lauding India’s contributions to regional cooperation processes through forums held by the ASEAN.
He also spoke highly of India’s coordination with Vietnam in enhancing the ASEAN-India collaboration over the past three years, underlining that Vietnam will continue working closely with Thailand, the new ASEAN-India relationship coordinator, and other ASEAN countries to expand and elevate the ASEAN-India strategic partnership in the future.