The event was co-chaired by Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam, Head of the Vietnamese Permanent Representative delegation to ASEAN and Indian Ambassador to ASEAN Suresh.K.Reddy.
A line-up of activities were carried out to mark the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-India dialogue relations in 2017, the participants said, elaborating that those have helped strengthen bonds between people in the ASEAN member states and India.
Notably, they spoke highly of the organisation of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit to celebrate the dialogue ties in January, during which state leaders from both sides adopted the Delhi Declaration with various strategic orientations for bilateral cooperation.
Both parties expressed their delights over the fruitful collaboration in the fields of politics-security, economy and culture-economy while lauding the results of the ASEAN-India Action Plan during 2016-2020 with 97 out of 130 lines of actions implemented.
The ASEAN-India strategic partnership has been consolidated and deepened in 28 cooperative mechanisms in the fields of politics-security.
Regarding the economic sector, India continued to be the 7th largest trade partner of ASEAN with 70 billion USD in two-way trade in 2017. India poured more than 1 billion USD in foreign direct investment in the ASEAN countries in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 9.4 percent.
Regarding culture and society, India is one of the most active supporters of ASEAN in narrowing the development gap, developing human resources, training in information-technology, health care, adapting to climate change and managing natural disasters as well as promoting mutual understanding between people through periodical exchange programmes.
ASEAN and India agreed to ensure the effective implementation of the remaining lines of action in the ASEAN-India Plan of Action in 2016-2020 and the list of priority fields to further enhance the bilateral cooperation.
India pledged to actively support the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the bloc’s central role as well as participate in ASEAN-led mechanisms.
The country will enhance cooperation with ASEAN in navigation, anti-terrorism and transnational crimes in addition to increasing trade and investment ties.
India showed high determination to complete negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), develop green marine economy, cooperate in connecting sea, land and air routes and promote digital connectivity.
It will provide support to narrow the development gap in ASEAN, beef up tourism and people-to-people exchanges, cultural heritage preservation, exchanges of officials and students, and enhance information-technology capacity, natural disaster management, and climate change resilience for the bloc.
Meanwhile, ASEAN welcomed and highly valued India’s contribution of more than 1.5 million USD to ASEAN-India Cooperation Fund and ASEAN-India Green Fund in 2018 to carry out more effectively joint projects.
The Vietnamese Ambassador spoke highly of the outcomes gained in ASEAN-India cooperation over the past time and welcomed India to consider ASEAN a pillar in the its Act East policy.
He called on India to continuously work with ASEAN to make more contributions to peace, security and development cooperation in Indian Ocean and Pacific regions, especially in the East Sea.
India is also expected to offer more assistance for ASEAN to reinforce the strong development of the ASEAN Community.
At the meeting, ASEAN countries and India highly valued the coordinating role of Vietnam in promoting ASEAN-India relations in 2015-2018.
The Southeast Asian country has also put forth a number of initiatives to enhance the bilateral cooperation through numerous activities in celebration of the 25th founding anniversary of ASEAN-India dialogue partnership in 2017, helping elevate their ties to a new height.
Thailand will be the next country to play the coordinating role in ASEAN-India relations in 2018-2021.
The 19th ASEAN-India Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting is scheduled to take place in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2019.