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5th Roundtable of the ASEAN-India Network of Think-Tanks (English)

Indian Mission to ASEAN

Press Release

5th Roundtable of the ASEAN-India Network of Think-Tanks

Indian Mission to ASEAN in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, ASEAN-India Centre (AIC), Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi, and Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI) is organizing the 5th Roundtable of the ASEAN-India Network of Think-Tanks (AINTT-5) at Jakarta on 6-7 January, 2018. The high level event is graced by the presence of H.E. Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of India, H.E Retno Marsudi, Foreign Minister of Indonesia, H.E. Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary General of ASEAN, H.E Preeti Saran, SOM Leader of India, H.E Jose Tavares, SOM Leader of Indonesia, H.E. Suresh K. Reddy, Indian Ambassador to ASEAN and 27 prominent think-tanks of ASEAN countries and India. Over 100 eminent persons, diplomatic corps and other stakeholders are participating in the roundtable. The proceedings of the AINTT-4 entitled “ASEAN-India: Strengthening the Ties That Bind” is also released at the roundtable. The platform provides space for experts and scholars from ASEAN countries and India to exchange views on strengthening the already established linkages in political, economic and socio-cultural spheres between the two regions.

The AINTT-5 has five sessions apart from inaugural session. Session I: Maritime Security and Cooperation, Session II: Services trade and investment, Session III: Cultural heritage, Session IV: Educational cooperation, and Session V: Way Forward: AEC 2025 and India. The sessions are topical and of contemporary interest.

Session I deals with the maritime security and cooperation. India is closest maritime neighbour of ASEAN in west. Today, over 2/3rd of their merchandise trade is carried through oceans. India’s maritime cooperation with the ASEAN nations is an important dimension of the “Act East Policy”. ASEAN and India aim to undertake collective efforts to address three aspects of maritime commons: connectivity, security and cooperation. This session delves into maritime challenges faced by ASEAN and India that need to be addressed through greater cooperation.

Session II is on services trade and investment. India and ASEAN have signed ASEAN-India Trade-in-Goods agreement in 2009 and Trade-in-Services and Investment agreements in 2014. ASEAN and India are becoming more economically integrated and there is ample scope for further deepening this integration through trade in goods, services and investment. India is a partner of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Achieving in this context, wider and deeper integration with lower costs to business across the borders could mark a critical way forward, particularly in services trade. The session also reviews the barriers to trade between ASEAN and India and make a series of recommendations to strengthen the economic relations.

Session III is on cultural heritage. Civilisational and cultural links between India and Southeast Asia date back to thousands of years. This session deals with cultural heritage of ASEAN and India and identify the scope and opportunities in promoting shared cultural relations that exists between them.

Session IV is on educational cooperation. ASEAN and India have been working closely to support greater engagement in educational sector. Students of both India and ASEAN visit each other for higher studies. ASEAN and India have been trying to set up a network of universities, which would facilitate exchange of curricula, faculty and dissemination of research works.

Session V is on ASEAN Economic Community 2025 and India. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is a major step toward greater cooperation and integration. AEC has several implications for India in terms of economic, politico-security and socio-cultural issues. This penultimate session discusses the potential and challenges of AEC and implication for India and other dialogue partners.

The event is organized in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue relations in 2017. It symbolizes the closeness of ASEAN-India relations and is a step towards enhancing people-to-people connectivity between countries of south east Asia and India. The Roundtable has provided important insights in to the working of ASEAN Community, including the resolution of outstanding issues through dialogue and cooperation. India supports ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN way of resolution of issues through dialogue and cooperation at a pace comfortable to all.

6th January, 2018

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