ASEAN and India are celebrating 30 years of partnership this year. The RIS and its ASEAN-India Centre (AIC) stand for Strengthening India and ASEAN relations further and designing new avenues for cooperation in Indo-Pacific. The AIC serves as a resource centre for the ASEAN member states and India to fill the knowledge gaps that currently limit the opportunities for cooperation. The AIC is closely working with the ASEAN divisions of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to undertake and disseminate policy research and provide analytical policy recommendations.
The overall objective of AIC is to strengthen India’s partnership with ASEAN in its realisation of the ASEAN Community comprising the three pillars: the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community, and the ASEAN SocioCultural Community. The AIC undertakes regular networking activities with relevant organisations and thinks tanks in India and ASEAN member states to provide up-to-date information, data resources, and sustained interaction to promote the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership (AISP).
To achieve the goals of AISP, AIC has adopted a three-pronged strategy to assist MEA in defining the contours of the AISP. It has been producing high-quality research and analysis on various aspects of regional economic cooperation and integration-related issues. Its research plan has been developed closely with research institutions and policymakers to implement AISP objectives effectively.
The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. The ‘Look East Policy’ has matured into a dynamic and action-oriented ‘Act East Policy. Apart from ASEAN, India has taken other policy initiatives in the region that involve some members of ASEAN like BIMSTEC, MGC etc.
India’s relationship with ASEAN is a key pillar of its foreign policy and Act East Policy foundation. India set up a separate Mission to ASEAN and the EAS in Jakarta in April 2015 with a dedicated Ambassador to strengthen engagement with ASEAN and ASEAN-centric processes.
Faced with growing traditional and non-traditional challenges, political security Cooperation is a key and an emerging pillar of our relationship. The rising export of terror, growing radicalization through the ideology of hatred, and spread of extreme violence define the landscape of common security threats to our societies. Our partnership with ASEAN seeks to craft a response that relies on coordination, cooperation and sharing of experiences at multiple levels.
As a regional grouping based on consensus, ASEAN has worked tirelessly for over 50 years to help secure peace, progress, and prosperity in the region. India, therefore, places ASEAN at the centre of its Indo-Pacific vision of security and growth for all in the region.
India-ASEAN trade and investment relations have grown steadily, with ASEAN being India’s fourth-largest trading partner. India’s trade with ASEAN stands at $81.33 billion, which is approx. 10.6% of India’s overall business. India’s export to ASEAN stands at 11.28% of its total exports.
The Government has organised a large number of programmes to boost people-to-people Interaction with ASEAN, such as inviting ASEAN students to India each year for the exchange programme, a special training course for ASEAN diplomats, exchange of parliamentarians, participation of ASEAN students in the National Children’s Science Congress, ASEAN-India Network of Think-Tanks, and ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Lecture Series etc.