03
November
2019

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 16TH ASEAN-INDIA SUMMIT, BANGKOK/NONTHABURI, 3 NOVEMBER 2019

03
November
2019

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 16TH ASEAN-INDIA SUMMIT, BANGKOK/NONTHABURI, 3 NOVEMBER 2019

233

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT
OF THE 16TH ASEAN-INDIA SUMMIT
BANGKOK/NONTHABURI, 3 NOVEMBER 2019

 

1. The 16th ASEAN-India Summit was held on 3 November 2019 in Bangkok, Kingdom of Thailand. The Summit was chaired by H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand. The Summit was attended by all Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States and H.E. Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India. The Secretary-General of ASEAN was also in attendance.

2. We reaffirmed our commitment to continuing the implementation of the Delhi Declaration, as the outcome of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit to mark the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations in January 2018, in order to further strengthen and deepen the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership in the coming years

3. We noted with satisfaction the progress in the implementation of the Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity (2016-2020). We looked forward to a new Plan of Action (2021-2025) as a guiding document to further enhance ASEAN-India cooperation in areas of mutual interest, and continue bringing about tangible benefits to the peoples of both sides as well as contributing to the promotion of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.

4. We reiterated our shared commitment to support ASEAN centrality and ASEAN-led mechanisms in the evolving regional architecture that is open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based. ASEAN Leaders appreciated India’s active participation and positive contribution to ASEAN-led mechanisms, including the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus). We agreed to continue utilising these mechanisms to effectively respond to traditional and non-traditional security challenges.

5. We emphasized the need to enhance ASEAN-India collaborative efforts in countering terrorism, radicalization, violent extremism, and transnational crimes, and the need to strengthen cooperation on cybersecurity through supporting the implementation of the ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy and the ARF Work Plan on Security of and in the Use of Information and Communication Technologies.

6. ASEAN Leaders reiterated the importance of the ASEAN Outlook on the IndoPacific (AOIP), appreciated India’s support of the AOIP and encouraged India to undertake cooperation with ASEAN in the key areas outlined in the AOIP, covering maritime cooperation, connectivity, sustainable development and economic cooperation, in order to contribute to the maintenance of peace, freedom and prosperity in the region.

7. We highlighted the importance of increasing maritime cooperation, including in specific areas such as maritime connectivity and combating marine debris, among others. We reaffirmed our commitment to strengthen ASEAN-India maritime cooperation through existing relevant ASEAN-led mechanisms, such as the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), to address common challenges on maritime issues. We also noted the successful convening of the 3rd ASEAN-India Workshop on Blue Economy on 12 September 2019 in Bangkok, which facilitated the exchange of knowledge and experience between ASEAN and India on recent developments and enhanced cooperation in the Blue Economy relating to the sustainable use of marine resources, maritime connectivity and diplomacy and looked forward to continued cooperation in this area.

8. We welcomed the robust growth in trade and economic relations between ASEAN and India, which based on preliminary ASEAN data, revealed that two-way merchandise trade between ASEAN and India grew by 9.8 per cent from 73.6 billion USD in 2017 to 80.8 billion USD in 2018. We also noted the recovery of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows from India in 2018, amounting to 1.7 billion USD, which placed India as ASEAN’s sixth largest trading partner and sixth largest source of FDI among ASEAN Dialogue Partners.

9. We underscored the importance of further strengthening trade and investment between ASEAN and India in order to achieve the trade target of 200 billion USD by 2022. We reaffirmed that the full and effective utilisation of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (AIFTA) will not only contribute to the realisation of our 2022 trade target but also to the promotion of sustainable and inclusive economic growth. We noted the decision of our Economic Ministers in September 2019 to initiate the review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) to make it more user-friendly, simple, and trade facilitative for businesses, and constitute a Joint Committee for this purpose. ASEAN Leaders welcomed the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations and the commitment to sign the RCEP Agreement in 2020

10. We commended the ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC) for their efforts in promoting business and economic cooperation between India and ASEAN in areas of mutual interest such as financial technology (FinTech), connectivity, start-ups, and innovation, empowerment of youth and women and the development of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). We noted the successful outcome of the 4th India-ASEAN Expo and Summit held in February 2019 in New Delhi, and the 4th ASEAN-India Business Summit and Business Excellence Award in October 2019 in Manila, the Philippines.

11. We emphasised the importance of further strengthening ASEAN-India connectivity cooperation to advance the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025), including by promoting synergies between MPAC 2025 and regional frameworks as well as connectivity strategies under India’s Act East Policy and SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision, under the “Connecting the Connectivities” approach, and looked forward to more cooperation in sustainable infrastructure and digital innovation initiatives in order to further strengthen trade, tourism and people-to-people connectivity. We also looked forward to India’s participation in the ASEAN Smart Cities Network.

12. We reiterated our intention to work towards the completion of the IndiaMyanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway Project and its extension to Cambodia, Lao
PDR and Viet Nam. We also took note of the Mid Term Report of the study by ERIA that India had commissioned following our deliberations at the last Breakfast Summit in Singapore. We looked forward to the expeditious conclusion of the ASEAN-India Air Transport Agreement (AI-ATA) and the ASEAN-India Maritime Transport Agreement (AI-MTA), in accordance with the decision of the ASEAN Transport Ministers on this matter.

13. ASEAN Leaders appreciated India’s support in regional integration and narrowing the development gap among ASEAN Member States, including through
the implementation of the IAI Work Plan III (2016-2020), and promoting subregional cooperation, including through the Mekong-Ganga framework and looked forward to India’s continued cooperation and assistance in this area and contribution to the ASEAN Community building process.

14. We are pleased with the sustained cooperation to promote cultural and civilisational links between ASEAN and India through knowledge exchanges among
policy-makers, scholars, and academicians concerned with tangible and intangible cultural heritage.

15. We welcomed the success of ASEAN-India Tourism Cooperation Year in 2019 and its related activities to increase two-way tourist visits and promote peopleto-people ties in order to advance the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership including through the ASEAN-India Youth Summit, ASEAN-India Students Exchange Programmes, Scholarship Programmes for ASEAN students at Nalanda University, ASEAN-India Media Exchange Programmes, Special Course for ASEAN Diplomats and Training Program for Chefs from ASEAN Member States. We noted the ongoing discussions between the ASEAN University Network and Nalanda University regarding the establishment of the ASEAN-India Network of Universities. We encouraged continued cooperation in science and technology in terms of capacity building and information sharing, among research and technology centers including on the issue of aeronautical and space technology, satellite technology on climate change adaptation and disaster management. ASEAN Leaders also expressed appreciation to India for launching 1,000 doctoral fellowships for ASEAN students at Indian institutes of technology on 16 September 2019, which will contribute to the development of ASEAN’s human capital.

16. We also had a free-flowing discussion on regional and international issues of common interest and concern, including terrorism and violent extremism, cybersecurity, the South China Sea, cooperation in the region, and the global economy. We welcomed the strengthening of maritime cooperation and connectivity in the region. We noted India’s vision of security and growth for all in the region. We discussed the importance of promoting a rules-based order in the region, including through upholding international law such as the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea, and recognised the benefits of having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity

17. We looked forward to further deepening and strengthening the ASEANIndia Strategic Partnership for mutual benefit, across the political-security, economic and socio-cultural pillars in order to deepen the ties between the peoples of ASEAN and India.

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CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 16TH ASEAN-INDIA SUMMIT BANGKOK/NONTHABURI, 3 NOVEMBER 2019