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India and ASEAN will strengthen their strategic partnership

World Affairs

India and ASEAN will strengthen their strategic partnership

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of - Dialogue Relations, India and agreed to deepen strategic partnership across the entire spectrum of political, security, economic, and development cooperation.

The Special -India Foreign Ministers Meeting was held today in New Delhi to mark the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations in 2022, which has been designated as the ASEAN-India Friendship Year.

The meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Singapore Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

The meeting agreed to deepen and strengthen the -India Strategic Partnership for mutual benefit “across the entire spectrum of political, security, economic, socio-cultural, and development cooperation by utilizing relevant existing ASEAN-led mechanisms.”

The meeting recognized the millennia-old civilisational and cultural links between and India, according to the Co-Chairs’ Statement. It recalled the landmarks of -India Dialogue Relations over the last three decades and reaffirmed its commitment to deepen this broad-based partnership.

The meeting welcomed India’s support for the Community-building process, including support for the projects, and expressed appreciation for India’s firm commitment to ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture.

Recognizing the importance of collaborative efforts to address the ongoing challenges posed by the , the meeting commended ASEAN Member States and India on their mutual assistance.

The meeting agreed to realize the full potential of the ASEAN-India trade and economic partnership, including improved utilization and effective implementation of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (AIFTA) through the early start of the review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) to make it more user friendly, simple, and trade facilitative for businesses.

In accordance with the “Connecting the Connectivities” approach, the meeting also decided to strengthen regional connectivity, including both physical and digital connectivity, and to investigate synergies between the MPAC 2025 and India’s connectivity initiatives under India’s Act East Policy.

In addition, given the importance of digital platforms for improved access in areas such as healthcare, education, and , it was agreed to create an open, secure, interoperable, and user-empowering digital connectivity ecosystem.

The meeting decided to strengthen defense cooperation through the ADMM-Plus and welcomed the proposed ASEAN-India Defence Ministers Informal Meeting in November 2022, as well as the proposed ASEAN-India Maritime .

The meeting reaffirmed the commitment to multilateralism based on international law principles such as the United Nations Charter and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

It agreed to work toward a meaningful, substantive, and mutually beneficial Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between ASEAN and India by strengthening the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership.

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