28 Aug ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ Meeting
This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ Meeting”. The topic “ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ Meeting” has relevance in the International Relations section of the UPSC CSE exam.
GS 2: International Relations
Key Highlights of the Meeting?
Why in the news
Recently, the 20th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ Meeting took place in Semarang, Indonesia. This event signifies a notable advancement in bolstering economic collaboration between India and the member nations of ASEAN.
About The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN):
- ASEAN is a regional organization that facilitates collaboration in economic, political, and security areas.
- It was founded in August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand through the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding members: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
- ASEAN consists of ten nations situated in Southeast Asia: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- The leadership of ASEAN rotates annually, following the alphabetical order of the English names of its Member States.
- The ASEAN member countries collectively house an estimated population of 666.19 million people and boast a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of approximately USD 3.2 trillion.
Cooperative Domains between India and ASEAN:
India and ASEAN share a broad spectrum of collaborative areas, with ASEAN playing a significant role within India’s Act East Policy.
These areas of cooperation encompass:
- Annual Summits: India engages in yearly summits with ASEAN nations. The formal interaction began in 1992 as a “Sectoral Dialogue Partner” and evolved into a “Dialogue Partner” in 1996. It advanced to a Summit level partnership in 2002.
- Trade and Investment: The India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has propelled trade and investment ties. ASEAN ranks as India’s 4th largest trade partner, with bilateral trade totaling $110.4 billion during 2021-22.
- ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC): Formed in 2005, AIBC fosters closer business linkages between India and ASEAN nations.
- Regional Connectivity: Initiatives like the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway and the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project aim to enhance connectivity with ASEAN countries.
- Defense and Security: Joint military exercises such as the ASEAN-India Maritime Exercise and ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) underscore the deepening defense cooperation. India’s Indo-Pacific vision emphasizes ASEAN’s pivotal role.
- Socio-cultural Ties: Cultural exchanges strengthen people-to-people connections. Programs like the Students Exchange Programme, ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks, and ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Lecture Series are examples.
- Education and Research: The ASEAN-India Centre at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) promotes research on ASEAN-India relations.
- Delhi Dialogue (2009): An annual forum discussing politico-security, economic, and socio-cultural matters between India and ASEAN.
- Funding: Financial support is extended to ASEAN nations through the ASEAN-India Cooperation Fund, ASEAN-India S&T Development Fund, and ASEAN-India Green Fund.
Key Highlights of the Meeting:
Strengthening Economic Partnership:
- Emphasis on enhancing the ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for mutual benefits.
- Recognized the significance of promoting economic cooperation amidst pandemic-related challenges.
- It was noted that bilateral trade between India and ASEAN during 2022-23 stood at USD 131.5 billion, contributing to 11.3% of India’s global trade in the same period.
ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC):
- Acknowledged AIBC’s efforts in 2023, including the 5th ASEAN-India Business Summit in March 2023 held in Kuala Lumpur.
- AIBC, established by ASEAN and India in 2005, aims to strengthen business ties and offer an industry perspective on deepening economic connections.
- Addressed concerns raised by businesses regarding Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs), emphasizing increased interactions among stakeholders from both sides.
Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs):
- NTBs are obstacles to international trade that don’t involve direct tariffs but impede the flow of goods.
- Examples include product-specific quotas, quality conditions imposed by importers, and unjustified sanitary and phyto-sanitary requirements.
- Businesses’ concerns about NTBs were acknowledged, reflecting the growing engagement between stakeholders from ASEAN and India.
Q.1 Consider the following statements regarding ASEAN:
- ASEAN was established in 1967.
- The headquarters of ASEAN is located in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- Myanmar is a member of ASEAN.
How many of the above statement/s is/are correct?
(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding ASEAN:
- The founding members of ASEAN include Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
- India is currently negotiating to sign a Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor
Q.3 How has the strategic partnership between ASEAN and India evolved over time? What key areas of cooperation have been emphasized in their efforts to enhance regional connectivity and foster mutual growth?