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19th ASEAN-India Summit : Maritime connectivity & cross-cultural exchanges have grown stronger over 30 years

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PHNOM PENH : The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India on the occasion of the 19th ASEAN-India Summit to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of their Dialogue Relations, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, acknowledged that the deep civilizational linkages, maritime connectivity, and cross-cultural exchanges between Southeast Asia and India have grown stronger over the last 30 years, providing a strong foundation for ASEAN-India relations.

The joint statement noted that both the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and
the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) share relevant fundamental principles in promoting peace and cooperation as outlined in the ASEAN-India Joint Statement on Cooperation on the AOIP for Peace, Stability and Prosperity in the Region adopted at the 18th ASEAN-India Summit in 2021.

It stated that the commitment to guide the ASEAN-India Partnership by the principles and norms enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the ASEAN Charter, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Declaration of the East Asia Summit (EAS) on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations, the Delhi Declaration of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit to mark the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations (2018).

Joint statement recognized that the successful implementation of the ASEAN-India Plans of Action for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity through the ASEAN-India Fund (AIF), ASEAN-India Green Fund (AIGF), ASEAN-India Science & Technology Development Fund (AISTDF) as well as through project-specific direct financial assistance It also declared to establish the ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that is meaningful, substantive and mutually beneficial, and tasks our officials to follow up on its implementation.

It also declared advanced maritime cooperation, including in maritime security, countering piracy and armed robbery against ships, maritime safety, and search and rescue (SAR) operations humanitarian assistance, disaster management, and emergency response and relief. Enhance cooperation against terrorism and transnational crimes including international economic crimes and money laundering, cybercrime, drugs and human trafficking, and arms smuggling; and in military medicine, while reaffirming that it plays an important role and offers to ensure health security in the region, stated the joint statement by ASEAN-INDIA.

It also declared to strengthen cooperation on cybersecurity, such as establishing new dialogue platforms between ASEAN and India, working closely with the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence, and the ADMM Cybersecurity and Information Centre of Excellence.

It also agreed to enhance ASEAN-India cooperation on the digital economy through a series of regional capacity-building activities in digital transformation, digital trade, digital skills and innovation, as well as Hackathons.

The statement further stated to explore fintech cooperation including unified and interoperable digital financial systems between ASEAN and India, which would expand opportunities for businesses and ecommerce.

The Vice President of India, Jagdeep Dhankhar during a speech at the 19th ASEAN-India Summit stated that India places great value on ASEAN as an important pillar of regional, multilateral & global order. India supports ASEAN centrality in the evolving architecture in the Indo-Pacific. India & ASEAN share the common vision of ensuring peace, prosperity & stability in the region.

“To navigate the sheer uncertain geopolitical landscape today, we need to expand our cooperation & deepen our strategic trust. Our comprehensive strategic partnership should provide a path for this, said VP Dhankhar.

ASEAN-India Joint Statement declared to continue to work together on regional and global issues of common concern while endeavouring to strengthen our partnership through the ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which shall contribute to further strengthening ASEAN-India relations through strategic cooperation for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Wide-ranging discussions on bilateral ties including human resource, de-mining & development projects. Leaders witnessed the exchange of 4 MoUs/agreements in areas of culture, wildlife & health, tweeted the Ministry of External Affairs.

This Summit is being hosted by Cambodia under the theme A.C.T (Addressing, Challenging, Together). This theme aims to counter regional issues, seeking prosperity, growth and stability among the states, in accordance with the central theme of ASEAN. Cambodia has played an important role in India-ASEAN engagements, the 1st India-ASEAN Summit took place in 2002 during the first chairship of Cambodia.

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