Asia has been viewed as the growth engine for global prosperity. Within Asia, India and ASEAN are expected to lead this change, thereby positioning themselves as a regional powerhouse and securing a strategic place in the global scenario. The “Act East Policy” of India highlights the government’s renewed focus to engage with the region.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional grouping founded on 8 August 1967 to promote economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the Southeast Asian region through multilateral cooperation. Today, this grouping includes 10 countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Myanmar.
The region comprising ASEAN and India together represents a combined population of 8.5 billion, which is a quarter of the global population with a GDP of over US$ 3.8 trillion, creating one of the largest economic spaces in the world. India has always been an integral part of the South Asian and South East Asian composition. Historically, the ASEAN and India relationship and its roots can be traced to the ancient cultural and civilizational linkages that have found evidence in various texts, religion, folklore, architecture and literature.
As a reflection of the interest of ASEAN and India to intensify their engagement, the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity has set out the roadmap for long-term ASEAN-India engagement. ASEAN and India have finalised a list of priority areas across subjects such as political and security cooperation, economic cooperation in connectivity, energy, trade and investment, finance, food and agriculture, education and many more, which would contribute towards successful implementation of the 2016-2020 Plan of Action.
From India’s perspective, the key primers to make the growth process in these economies more durable and development-oriented will be the consistent focus and project-based activation of these priority areas.
The June 2017 edition of the newsletter focuses on the India-ASEAN equation and outlines the key highlights of the policy advocacy agenda by global groupings such as B20 and OECD on tax treaty related measures and sustained world economy. In addition, it also provides brief information on happenings at the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), International Labour Organisation (ILO), South Asia and SAARC on specific project opportunities and business partnerships established in the areas of startups, skills and infrastructure.