Act East Policy Current Affairs - 2019

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PM Modi meets Indonesian President and Thailand PM

PM Modi on the sidelines of 35th ASEAN summit and 14th East Asia Summit, met the President of Indonesia H.E. Joko Widodo and the Thailand PM Prayut Chan-o-Cha (Gen (retd)).

Highlights of the meetings: Indonesia President

  • The leaders discussed the threat to extremism and terrorism and agreed to work closely. The meeting on terrorism is important for India’s interests in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Also, they discussed on trade, investment and connectivity and Indo-Pacific
  • India has asked for greater market access in the region in the fields of pharmaceuticals, agricultural products and automotive.
  • The meeting also gains its importance as India and Indonesia are celebrating their 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations. The countries are close maritime neighbors having historical and cultural linkages. Also India’s ‘Act East Policy’ is complimented by Indonesia’s ‘Look West’ policy.

Highlights of the meetings: Thailand PM

  • The leaders welcomed the 20% increase in the bilateral trade between the countries
  • They agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in defence industries sector
  • PM Modi discussed ways to enhance connectivity between the two countries in the areas of digital connectivity and physical connectivity.
  • India and Thailand are close maritime neighbors. India’s Act East Policy is complimented by the Thailand’s Look West Policy as that of Indonesia.

India-ASEAN Summit, 2019

PM Modi attended the 16th India-ASEAN summit held at Bangkok. The current ASEAN summit is being held in Bangkok, Thailand and the next ASEAN summit is to be conducted in Vietnam in 2020.

Highlights

  • India has allocated 1 billion USD as line of credit to improve physical and digital connectivity.
  • India highlighted that the India-ASEAN summit, 2018 and Singapore informal summit has brought India and ASEAN closer
  • India looks forward for cooperation in the areas of engineering, agriculture, science and ICT.
  • India has also expressed its readiness to improve its partnership and capacity building in areas of research, agriculture, engineering, science and ICT.
  • India also highlighted that it is looking forward to strengthen cooperation in the areas of blue economy and maritime security
  • India believes that Act East Policy is a significant cornerstone of the Indo-Pacific Strategy

Significance of ASEAN for India

  • ASEAN comprises of Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Brunei, Myanmar, Lao PDR and Vietnam.
  • ASEAN is India’s fourth largest trading partner. India’s trade with ASEAN stands at 81.33 billion USD.
  • FDI inflows from ASEAN between 2000 and 2018 into the country has been 68.91 billion USD. The FDI outflows from India to the countries have been 38. 672 billion USD.