The 14th ASEAN-India Summit and the 11th East Asia Summit, to be held in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 8 September, will review politico-security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation between India and the ASEAN and discuss its future direction.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the two summits, which will be attended by heads of state / government of the 10 ASEAN and 18 East Asia summit participating countries. The prime minister will also hold bilateral meetings with several leaders on the sidelines of the summit.
They will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern. The coming year will mark 25 years of India's dialogue partnership with ASEAN and a number of commemorative activities are planned to celebrate the Silver Jubilee year.
ASEAN is a strategic partner of India since 2012. India and ASEAN have 30 dialogue mechanisms which meet regularly, including a summit and 7 ministerial meetings in foreign affairs, commerce, tourism, agriculture, environment, renewable energy and telecommunications.
Minister of state for external affairs General (Retd) VK Singh recently attended the ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting and EAS Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Vientiane on 25-26 July 2016. Minister of state for commerce and industry Nirmala Seetharaman attended the ASEAN Economic Ministers + India Consultations and EAS Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in Vientiane on 6 August 2016.
Trade between India and ASEAN stood at $65.04 billion in 2015-16 and accounted for 10.12 per cent of India's total trade with the world. The ASEAN-India economic integration process got a fillip with the creation of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area in July 2015, following the entry into force of the ASEAN-India Trade in Services and Investment Agreements.
Conclusion of a balanced Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will further boost trade and investment ties with the region.
The East Asia Summit is the premier leaders-led forum in the Asia-Pacific. Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in the strategic, geopolitical and economic evolution of East Asia. Apart from the 10 ASEAN member states, East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, United States and Russia.
India, being a founding member of the East Asia Summit, is committed to strengthening the East Asia Summit and making it more effective for dealing with contemporary challenges.
At the 11th East Asia Summit, Leaders will discuss matters of regional and international interest and concerns, including maritime security, terrorism, non-proliferation, irregular migration, etc. The EAS is expected to adopt three statements / declarations, which include the Vientiane Declaration on Promoting Infrastructure Development Cooperation in East Asia, a Declaration on Strengthening Responses to Migrants in Crisis and Trafficking in Persons and an EAS Statement on Non-Proliferation.
A joint statement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations is expected to be adopted at a separate ceremony after the EAS.
India's engagement with the ASEAN and wider Asia-Pacific region has acquired further momentum following the enunciation of the 'Act-East Policy' by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 12th ASEAN-India Summit and 9th East Asia Summit in Myanmar in November 2014.