New Delhi hosted an Asean-India Connectivity Summit (AICS) on December 11-12 on the theme “Powering Digital and Physical Linkages for Asia in the 21st Century”.
- The event comes ahead of the visit of the leaders of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) here next month for the commemorative summit of 25 years of the India-Asean dialogue partnership.
- In a historic first, the 10 leaders will collectively be the chief guests at next year’s Republic Day celebrations here.
- The AICS aims to accelerate existing connectivity prospects, identify issues of concern, evolve suitable policy recommendations and develop strategies to enhance economic, industrial and trade relations between ASEAN and India.
- Its focus areas are infrastructure, roadways, shipping, digital, finance, energy and aviation.
- The AICS would be bringing together policymakers, senior officials from the government, investors, industry leaders, representatives of trade associations and entrepreneurs on the same platform.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional organisation comprising ten Southeast Asian states which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic integration amongst its members.
- It came into existence on August 8, 1967 after ASEAN declaration (also known as Bangkok declaration).
- Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Thailand were founder countries.
- Later 5 more countries Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam were added.
- Its headquarters is in Jakarta, Indonesia.
ASEAN’s Bilateral Free Trade Areas
1. ASEAN has five free trade agreements (FTAs) with six Dialogue Partners, namel China, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, and Australia and New Zealand. All Parties have ratified the FTA Agreements. The objectives of these FTAs are to:
(i) Act as a catalyst in strengthening ASEAN’s trade and economic relationship with China, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, and Australia and New Zealand among ASEAN Member States and the Republic of Korea by creating a large free trade area to provide economies of scale for companies;
(ii) Enhance economic competitiveness of ASEAN and these countries as well as increase the standard of living of the people through the progressive liberalization and promotion of trade in goods and services and the creation of a transparent, liberal, and facilitative investment regime.
(iii) Enhance economic integration of ASEAN and these East Asian countries and provide a building block for the creation of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and thereby assisting in reducing the development gaps.
(iv) The creation of a huge free market covering and these East Asian countries will bring dynamic benefits to the region since it will attract more foreign direct investments, which will subsequently create more jobs and facilitate the transfer of advanced technology.
Source:Economic TImes & Wiki