News / Asia

India, ASEAN Upgrade Strategic Partnership

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaks at the plenary session of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) India commemorative summit, in New Delhi, India,  Dec. 20, 2012.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaks at the plenary session of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) India commemorative summit, in New Delhi, India, Dec. 20, 2012.
Anjana Pasricha
India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have decided to elevate both their economic and strategic relationship at a two-day meeting in the Indian capital to mark 20 years of ties. As tensions rise in the South China Sea, India and Southeast Asian countries have also called for closer maritime security cooperation.

Setting their sights on more than doubling trade over the next decade, India and the 10 ASEAN-member countries have reached a free trade agreement in services and investments. This will facilitate movement of business people and professionals between India and the economically vibrant Southeast Asian countries.
 
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the agreement “transformational.” He points out that India and ASEAN's 1.8 billion people are nearly a quarter of the world’s population, and the region has a combined gross domestic product of $ 3.8 trillion.       
 
“I am optimistic that our trade will exceed $100 billion U.S. by 2015 and we should aim for the milestone of $200 billion U.S.  10 years from now,” Singh said.
 
To achieve this target, several Southeast Asian leaders stressed the need to improve air and road links between India and ASEAN countries. Prime Minister Singh echoed the call as he greeted a car rally that reached New Delhi Friday after winding its way through Southeast Asian countries.     
 
“Our future will be driven by the bonds of connectivity we build in the coming years, the prime minister said. "These physical bonds will be strengthened by digital links which will help our younger generations to network better. Together this web of linkages will help unleash the vast economic potential of our region, accelerate development and deepen our strategic partnership.”
 
India and ASEAN also decided to intensify “maritime security cooperation” and underlined the need for freedom of navigation. This has become a contentious issue due to competing claims between China and other countries - like ASEAN member Vietnam - over parts of the South China Sea.  
 
Southeast Asian countries said that it is important to protect vital sea routes in the Indian and Pacific Oceans as the global economy shifts eastward.  
 
However, Indian Foreign Minister, Salman Khurshid has said that issues of sovereignty needs to be resolved by the countries concerned and India’s intervention is not required.
 
In a vision statement, India and ASEAN also spoke of a new strategic partnership that would bring closer security and political cooperation.
 
India launched a “Look East” policy 20 years ago to push trade links with the 10 countries of Southeast Asia and to counterbalance China’s dominant role in the region. The two-day meeting, which was attended by heads of nine ASEAN countries, underscored that India’s profile is rising in the dynamic region.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Role in Fighting IS Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid