India-ASEAN Current Affairs - 2020

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Manipur- the major role player of Act East Policy

India has been focusing on Act East Policy lately with a strong motive of developing the North East. Out of all the North Eastern States, Manipur has evolved the major supporter of Act East Policy.

Measures

The GoI and the Manipur Government have taken several measures together in order to make the Act East Policy a big success. The integrated Check Post was inaugurated at Moreh, the Indo-Myanmar border. The Check post handles 99% of trade between Indian and Myanmar. The trade between the countries increased by 10% in a decade.

Both India and Myanmar have agreed to open nine borders between the countries. Two Hunar HAats have been established in the border districts of Manipur. Around 69 bridges have been constructed that helps in transiting to Myanmar and enhance border trade. Imphal-Mandalay flight services have begun.

Act East Policy

The Act East Policy was launched as the Look East Policy in 1991. Through the North East States India plans to increase its trade connectivity with ASEAN countries. The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit project, India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway are some of the projects that has taken trade between the countries to next level.

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MEA hosts 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue, Delhi Dialogue XI

Union Ministry of External Affairs will be hosting 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue (IOD) and Delhi Dialogue XI at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi on 13 December 2019. This is for the first time that these two dialogues, which are key elements of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), and India-ASEAN calendars will be held consecutively and on similar Indo-Pacific themes.

Theme for 2019 Indian Ocean Dialogue is- ‘Indo-Pacific: Re-imagining the Indian Ocean through an Expanded Geography’.  The 6th IOD which takes place on 13 December, is being organized with assistance of the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA).

Theme for 2019 Delhi Dialogue is- ‘Advancing Partnership in Indo-Pacific’. It is being organized with assistance of Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), a New Delhi–based autonomous policy research institute. The event will be held from 13-14 December.

Key Highlights of 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue

The IOD is Indian Ocean Rim Association’s (IORA’s) premier 1.5 track forum for dialogue between academia and officials on strategic issues of interest and concerns facing the Association. The member states will hold high-level discussions on IORA role within Indo-Pacific. The summit was preceded by 25th Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG) (took place on 12 December).

IORAG explored cooperation and collaboration between academics and experts on promoting Academic, Science and Technology Cooperation which is a key priority under IORA Action Plan (2017-2021).

Importance of Indian Ocean Rim Region

Just like Asia-Pacific to east, this IOR region is among the world’s most vital in terms of energy, global commerce, environmental and geopolitical stability. Almost 50% of world’s container ships and two-thirds of world’s oil shipments pass through this region, which is home to around 2.7 billion people.

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