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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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