News / Asia

India, ASEAN to Celebrate 20 Years of Ties

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) speaks with his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen (L) during their meeting in New Delhi. Hun Sen is in India to attend the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, December 19, 2012.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) speaks with his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen (L) during their meeting in New Delhi. Hun Sen is in India to attend the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, December 19, 2012.
Anjana Pasricha
India and the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations are expected to boost ties at a two-day commemorative meeting in New Delhi to mark 20 years of cooperation between New Delhi and the fast-growing region. Amid growing tensions with China, some Southeast Asian nations want India to play a greater role in the region.    
 
The meeting, beginning Thursday, in the Indian capital is attracting top leaders from the ten countries of the Southeast Asian region. Those attending include the prime ministers of Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam and the presidents of Burma and Indonesia.   
 
The meeting will not just celebrate past ties, but draw out a road map to cement their political and economic relationship. The highlight is expected to be the signing of a free trade agreement between India and ASEAN on services and investments.
 
India has been building bridges with the fast-growing Southeast Asian countries since it announced a “Look East Policy”, more than a decade ago, as it began to go beyond its traditional trading partners in the West. ASEAN countries have been attracted by India’s growing economic profile and its market of more than a billion people.    
 
Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai says trade ties have been booming. "ASEAN-India trade has been growing at over 22 percent during the last six years and, in fact, trade between India and ASEAN in 2011-2012 has increased by more than 37 percent and the trade now is $79 billion which is more than the target of $70 billion which they set,” stated Mathai.
 
Still, India is dwarfed by China in the region. Beijing’s trade with ASEAN countries was more than four times that with India last year, at $363 billion.
 
However, political observers say ASEAN countries are being drawn to India as they explore how New Delhi - also a regional heavyweight -- could balance out China's power in Asia. They point out that as disputes flash between China and countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines about the South China Sea, some ASEAN countries are looking to see if India will get involved.  India is exploring oil and gas in the contentious waters with Vietnam despite objections by Beijing.
 
A political analyst in New Delhi, Bhaskar Roy, says ASEAN wants to reduce its dependency on China, which dominates the region both politically and economically. “'All eggs in one basket' is something that does not work, [e]specially the kind of attitude China is showing now, the overbearing attitude of the Chinese," Roy said. "So obviously there is a move to explore a variety of avenues, and this is the thing with India.”

Indian officials say New Delhi needs more air and road links to the Southeast Asian countries to be able to explore the full potential of the region.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ian from: USA
December 19, 2012 1:30 PM

The author made a mistake by stating that:

" India is exploring oil and gas in the contentious waters with Vietnam despite objections by Beijing"

as if there is something ambiguous about the location .
There is no contentious waters. India & Vietnam explore for oil & gas well within the 200 miles legal coast line of Vietnam .
It is China's greed for oil, gas & fishery (which always belong to the southeast asian countries) that blinded this new imperialist country into create all these outrageous false claims suddenly .

In Response

by: Vectra from: India
December 20, 2012 4:27 AM
confronting India in south china sea will bring much trouble to china in indian ocean.india will suffer less in south china sea than china will suffer in indian ocean.china's string of pearl is there we are not denying it but it is unlikely that india's neighbour will let their soil be used against india for military purpose cuz they know india can act much faster and rapidly in indian ocean than china can do sitting miles away but one thing i cannot understand why world fear china's yet unproven force i mean we do not know their sophistication of weapons,expertise of air force pilots and navy personnel.sometimes i feel china's aggressiveness comes only from their numerical strength like thinking i have more numbers than your.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid