Phnom Penh, July 11 (IBNS): Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Wednesday said the country will continue to engage constructively with the ASEAN member states in order to achieve ‘full potential’ of the partnership.
“Your valuable inputs and suggestions will be duly reflected in our future programmes. We will continue to engage constructively with ASEAN member states to achieve the full potential of our partnership,” Krishna said at the 10th ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting.
“The civilizational strengths and historical linkages between India and ASEAN countries need to be extended to further to improve road, sea, rail, digital and people-to-people connectivity in present times. This is an imperative if we are to reinforce the economic foundations in our region for collective progress & prosperity," he said.
“The last one year has seen important progression in our partnership. India became the first Dialogue Partner to sign a MoU on Strengthening Tourism Cooperation with ASEAN countries in January this year. Your participation added tremendous value to Delhi Dialogue-IV in New Delhi in February 2012. The Delhi Dialogue has now emerged as a regular calendar event for track 1.5 level interface between ASEAN and India, with the next edition to be held in February 2013,” Krishna said.
He said the meeting of heads of space agencies of India and ASEAN countries in Bengaluru in June this year made headway on the proposal for 'Establishment of a Tracking and Data Reception Station and a Data Processing Facility for ASEAN and the Training of ASEAN Personnel in Space Science & Technology'.
“Our people-to-people interaction is on track. The work of ASEAN-India Artists was exhibited at the Civilizational Dialogue Conference held in Patna earlier this month. We would be inviting cultural troupes from all ASEAN countries to perform in different cities in November this year and, finally, to participate at a fusion cultural performance on the eve of the special ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit,” Krishna said.
Krishna said: “The story of economic growth in our partnership is meeting expectations despite the global economic downturn. Two-way trade between ASEAN and India in 2011-12 touched reached 80 billion US Dollars.”
He said: “We believe that the early conclusion of the ASEAN-India Services & Investment Agreements would give a strong fillip to our economic engagement. We welcome the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership initiative to accelerate regional economic integration.”
He said India will be hosting next month the first Meeting of the ASEAN-India Environment Ministers and also the first ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on New & Renewable Energy in November this year.
Krishna said: “The people and Government of India look forward to the privilege of welcoming the ASEAN Leaders and Ministers at the special ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi from December 20 to 21 this year.”
“I am particularly pleased at the enormous support and enthusiasm in ASEAN capitals to join us in observing this important landmark. Excellencies, the Commemorative Summit will present a special opportunity to pronounce together a new era in the ASEAN-India partnership,” he said.
He said India’s views for the future vision of the ASEAN-India partnership will be shared in the coming weeks.
Krishna said: The project proposals under finalization between ASEAN and India through the ASEAN Secretariat reflect the earnest desire of our two sides to deepen our engagement in diverse sectors.”
“Geographic, institutional and people-to-people connectivity, e-linkages, capacity building across sectors, cooperation in frontier areas like space technology, agriculture, energy, environment and biodiversity are some of the areas that I would suggest for particular attention in the months ahead,” he said.
He said India Car Rally would be flagged off from Yogjakarta in Indonesia on Nov 24.
“We propose that Leaders of ASEAN and India to give a ceremonial flag down to the Car Rally in Delhi on December 20,” Krishna said.
He said: “Similarly, the sail training ship INS Sudarshini would undertake an expedition to ports in nine ASEAN countries.”
Krishna said: “A number of business, cultural and people-to-people marker events have been planned. Some of my Ministerial colleagues and I would participate in these events and I would request, Excellencies, that ASEAN Ministers also lend the events their profile.”