NEW DELHI: Leaders from 10 member states of Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) met in the recently held India-ASEAN partnership summit to commemorate 25 glorious years of ASEAN-India relationship.
The summit focussed on strengthening India-ASEAN multi-faceted relationship and bringing out significant changes in world’s economic and political scenario.
ASEAN-India share a decade long friendly relationship and over the years all the south East Asian Nations, along with India, have played a pivotal role in bringing significant changes in the economic, social and political scenario of the world.
Consolidating mutual cooperation, promoting trade and business and strengthening bilateral ties between nations remained one of the major highlights of the summit.
Development of eastern borders in order to simplify the implementation of Act East Policy was also stressed during the summit.
Minister of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh said that in last few years, the north-east region has witnessed increased impetus as it remained India’s pivot to its pragmatic and realistic policy of ‘Act East’.
Stressing upon the need of mutual cooperation, he said, “If we have to promote trade and business, then we have to promote mutual cooperation to the countries across these borders, we have to produce from this region (north-east), because of our common lifestyle, traditions and eating habits, we would be able to send what is produced here.”
Reaffirming the fact that 98 per cent of the north-eastern states share their borders with South Asian neighbours, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju shed light on the central government’s keenness to improve border infrastructure.
He also stressed on the basic requirements such as road, power and schools in the region for betterment.
Addressing the summit, Rijiju said there was a need to explore the region’s potentialities, keeping aside the negative aspects and focus on the idea to improve the connectivity to boost bilateral trade and cultural ties.
The summit also highlighted the need to enhance skill development of the youth for the betterment of the country and government is also targetting to improve social perception of technical and vocational education and training.
Making intelligible about the importance of India’s Act East Policy, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan said, “India embark on the policy of look east for a long time. However, PM has given further importance by initiating the policy of Act East to reinforce relation with the economical vibrant Asian region."
He went on to say, “The upgrade from the Look East to Act East policy with Asian as the core was the earliest initiative of the Modi government. The ASEAN region is considered as our extended neighbourhood and enhancing connectivity is crucial to improve India’s diplomatic, economic and cultural ties with the countries.”
“The Act East Policy can be significantly supported by India’s northeastern region. It is becoming a bridge head for India to booming Asian markets,” he concluded.
The partnership summit was attended by delegates of both India and ASEAN member states.