ASEAN Current Affairs
The 12th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and 5th ADMM-Plus was held on October 19 and 20, 2018 Singapore. ADMM and ADMM-Plus serves as key Ministerial-level platforms in regional security architecture for promoting strategic dialogue and practical cooperation between ASEAN and its partners. The conferences were attended by defence ministers from India, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and US. India was represented by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This was second time Singapore has chaired ADMM since its establishment in 2006 and first time to chair ADMM-Plus since its establishment in 2010.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
ASEAN is regional intergovernmental organisation comprising 10 Southeast Asian countries, which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration. 10-member ASEAN comprise of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos. India is a full dialogue partner of the ASEAN.
ADMM-Plus is platform for ASEAN and its eight dialogue partners to strengthen security and defence co-operation for peace, stability, and development in the region. Its objective is to promote mutual trust and confidence between defence establishments through greater dialogue and transparency. The inaugural ADMM-Plus was convened in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2010. The defence ministers then had agreed on five areas of practical cooperation, including maritime security, counter-terrorism, peacekeeping operations and humanitarian assistance.
The 6th Interregional Ministerial Meeting of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was held in Singapore. The meeting was reviewed after 6th RCEP ministerial meeting held in August 2018. In this meeting, all partner countries agreed to finalize trading deal by the end of this year. From Indian side, Minister of State (MoS) for Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution C. R. Chaudhary had attended the meeting.
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
RCEP is a proposed proposed free trade agreement (FTA) or comprehensive regional economic integration agreement between the 10-ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and its six FTA partners (Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Japan and Korea).
The negotiations for this mega trade deal were formally launched at 2012 ASEAN Summit in Cambodia. It aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights under its ambit.
Till 2017, 16 RCEP member states accounted for population of 3.4 billion people with total GDP (in terms of PPP) of $49.5 trillion, approximately 38% of the world’s GDP (combined GDPs of China and India makes up more than half that amount) and 29% of world trade.