Why in the News?
- The Prime Minister of India attended the 16th India-ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on November 03, 2019.
What are the highlights?
- Along with this Summit, the other summits that took place in Thailand are-
- 35th ASEAN Summit,
- 14th East Asia Summit, and
- meeting of RCEP countries
- During the summit, the discussions were held to promote India-ASEAN strategic partnership along with cooperation in the field of maritime security and blue economy, trade and investment, connectivity, science and technology, and innovation.
- On the socio-cultural front, the focus was made on enhancing people-to-people connectivity, cultural exchanges, humanitarian aid, and tourism.
- The Prime Minister also talked about the mutual coordination between India's vision of the Indo-Pacific region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Outlook for maintaining strategic balance in the region, which has been witnessing growing Chinese assertiveness.
- At the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit, a trade negotiation deal is yet to be finalized after considering all issues that concern Indian interests in trade in goods, services, and investments.
- The PM addressed the Indian community at the 'Sawasdee PM Modi' event in Bangkok.
- In the Thai language, the word ‘Sawasdee’ is used for greetings and goodbye.
During the visit, the Indian PM held bilateral meetings with a number of other world leaders present at Bangkok. What are the important ones?
- The Indian Prime Minister highlighted the importance of Myanmar to India's Look East Policy and the Neighbourhood First policies.
- The emphasis was laid on building a stable and peaceful border by improving physical connectivity to and through Myanmar to Southeast Asia via. building roads, ports, and expansion of air connectivity.
- India would continue to support the capacity expansion programme for Myanmar's police, military and civil servants, as well as its students and citizens.
- India plans to host a business event for the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam) in Yangon at the end of November 2019.
- India and Indonesia agreed to work together for peace, security, and prosperity in order to achieve their shared vision on maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The two leaders discussed the threat of extremism and terrorism and agreed to work closely bilaterally and globally to tackle this menace.
- India is working with Indonesia to strengthen the ties in the areas of defence, security, connectivity, trade and investment, and people-to-people exchanges.
- The Indian PM highlighted the need for greater market access for Indian commodities in Indonesia including, pharmaceutical, automotive and agricultural products.
- India shares a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Indonesia. And this year (2019), India and Indonesia commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
- India and Thailand agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in areas such as trade, culture, and defence industries sector.
- Emphasis was laid to enhance connectivity between the two countries, including in the areas of physical and digital connectivity.
- Thailand 4.0 initiative of transforming Thailand into a value-based economy is complementary to India’s priorities Digital India, Skill India, Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart Cities, Jal Jeevan Mission, etc.
- In the contemporary context, India’s Act East policy is complemented by Thailand’s Look West policy which has made the relationship deep, robust and multifaceted.