India-ASEAN Current Affairs

ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit issues Delhi Declaration

The ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit was held in New Delhi to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of sectoral dialogue between two sides under the theme of “Shared Values, Common Destiny”.

It issued joint statement titled Delhi Declaration after the plenary session focusing on counter-terrorism, identity security, military cooperation, and bilateral financial support.

India and 10 ASEAN countries for first time mentioned cross-border movement of terrorists and made commitment to counter the challenge through close cooperation as part of the declaration.

Key Highlights of Delhi Declaration

Strengthening relations: Called for strengthening and deepening ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership for mutual benefit, across the whole spectrum of political-security, economic, socio-cultural and development cooperation.

Terrorism: Deepen cooperation in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, violent extremism and radicalisation through information sharing, law enforcement cooperation and capacity building under existing ASEAN-led mechanism.

Cyber-security: Strengthen cooperation on cyber-security capacity building and policy coordination, including through supporting the implementation of ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy.

Transnational crimes: It called for strengthening cooperation to combat other transnational crimes, including people smuggling, trafficking in persons, illicit drug trafficking, cybercrime, and piracy and armed robbery against ships.

Political and Security Cooperation: Reaffirm importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, maritime safety and security, freedom of navigation and overflight in the region.

It calls for other lawful uses of seas and to promote peaceful resolutions of disputes, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Economic Ties: Both sides reaffirmed to work to further strengthen ASEAN-India economic relations, including through full utilisation and effective implementation of ASEAN-India Free Trade Area. They also called for swift conclusion to comprehensive and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2018 to further trade ties. They also look forward to establish ASEAN-India Trade and Investment Centre.

Physical and digital connectivity: Reaffirmed their commitment to enhance physical and digital connectivity in line with Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and ASEAN ICT Masterplan (AIM) 2020 by availing $1-billion line of credit (LoC) announced by India. They will also work towards encouraging early completion of India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway Project and extend it to Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam.

Conservation and sustainable use of marine resources in Indian and Pacific Oceans and address threats to these resources including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, loss of coastal ecosystems and the adverse impacts of pollution, , marine debris and ocean acidification.

Maritime cooperation: It emphasised need to promote maritime transport cooperation and encourage potential private sector participation in development of seaports, maritime logistics network and maritime services in order to create greater efficient linkages and continue discussions on these priority areas.

MSMEs: It calls for promotion of stable and sustainable growth for MSMEs, including through technology transfer, as well as enhancing capacity building, technical assistance, access to innovation and opportunities to integrate into global and regional value chains were agreed upon.

Peaceful exploitation of outer space: India and ASEAN countries will continue to collaborate in peaceful exploitation of outer space, through implementation of the ASEAN-India Space Cooperation Programme. It will include launching of satellites, sustainable exploitation of ground, sea, atmospheric and digital resources for equitable development of region.


ASEAN is regional intergovernmental organisation comprising ten Southeast Asian countries which promotes Pan-Asianism and intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational and socio-cultural integration amongst its members and other Asian countries.

It consists of 10-member countries- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It was established on August 8, 1967 through ASEAN declaration (also known as Bangkok Declaration). Its secretariat is located in Jakartaa, Indonesia.


India to hold talks with ASEAN to extend IMT highway up to Vietnam

India is planning to hold talks with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries to extend India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) highway up to Vietnam.

As per proposals from India, the 1,360 km long IMT highway from Moreh in India to Mae-Sot in Thailand can be extended to Vietnam via Laos and Cambodia.

Key Facts

The connectivity provided by expansion of IMT highway till Vietnam can generate an estimated $70 billion annually in incremental GDP and $20 million in incremental aggregate employment by 2025. Besides, it will provide much required market for crops grown in hilly regions of Northeast India, thus benefiting growers in getting better price for their produce.

IMT Motor Vehicle Agreement (IMT MVA)

Besides, Government is also working to connect India with South East Asia is IMT Motor Vehicle Agreement (IMT MVA). India, Myanmar and Thailand had commenced negotiations for finalising and implementing IMT MVA in 2014 to utilise physical road infrastructure on IMT Trilateral Highway.

India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) highway

The India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway is highway under construction under India’s Act East policy that will connect Moreh, India with Mae Sot, Thailand via Myanmar. The highway is expected to boost trade and commerce in ASEAN–India Free Trade Area, as well as with rest of Southeast Asia.