ASEAN Summit: PM Narendra Modi’s Look East policy at play

By: | Published: November 12, 2014 9:03 AM

Narendra Modi will attend 12th ASEAN-India summit and the 9th East Asian summit in Myanmar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Myanmar U Thein Sein along with officials during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw. (PTI)Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Myanmar U Thein Sein along with officials during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw. (PTI)

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting that begins on Wednesday holds special significance in the context of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stated ‘Link West, Look East’ policy.

While India has been following the Look-East policy since 1990, it became a sectoral dialogue partner with ASEAN in 1992 and a full dialogue partner in 1996. However, it is only since 2002 that India has had a Summit-level partnership with the grouping.

The ASEAN-India functional cooperation includes cooperation across sectors such as trade, science & technology, human resource development, agriculture, energy, IT, telecom, transport and infrastructure, tourism and culture.

The ASEAN-India Trade-in-Goods Agreement was signed in August 2009 and that in services & investment was signed earlier this year.

India’s export in 2013-14 to the 10 nations that are part of ASEAN amounts to $33.1 billion or 10.5 per cent of its total exports, which is more than the exports to the African nations or to the Latin American countries.

Import from ASEAN nations, however, at $42.86 billion, is 9.17 per cent of the total imports by India and is higher than the inflow from Africa, Latin America or North America.

Foreign-Trade

India’s Priorities at the Meeting:

ACT EAST POLICY
India aims to build economic and strategic relations with ASEAN countries

BETTER CONNECTIVITY
India may pitch for improved connectivity links with ASEAN and East Asian countries. The country is keen that the next

ASEAN-India five-year plan of action, starting 2016, should also focus on security architecture in the region and there could be progress on a project to develop a 3,200 km highway linking India, Myanmar and Thailand. While it was envisaged to be completed by end of 2017, it is now expected to be completed in 2018

MORE TRADE
Modi will also hold talks to enhance trade between India and ASEAN nations who have recently signed the free trade pact

TOURISM:

India is keen to tap the potential offered by the Buddhist pilgrimage circuit to attract more tourists from South East Asian nations

MODI: “Do keep sharing thoughts & ideas for the visit. Here is a great place to keep updated on the visit…”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked people in a tweet, as he kicked off his 11-day three-nation tour. Modi will attend the 12th ASEAN-India summit and the 9th East Asian summit in Myanmar. He will later visit Australia for a G-20 meet followed by Fiji.

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