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Executive report on the progress in the implementation of the plan of action to implement the ASEAN-India partnership for peace, progress and shared prosperity

INTRODUCTION

  1. This report highlights the progress in the implementation of the projects and activities under the Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity (2010-15), which was adopted by the Leaders of ASEAN Member States and India at the 8th ASEAN-India Summit, held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam on 30 October 2010.OVERALL ASSESSMENT
  2. The past three years have witnessed remarkable progress in the implementation of the Plan of Action. The successful conduct of a large number of activities and collaborative projects in a range of sectors covering all three pillars, i.e. political security, economic and socio-cultural, was made possible through concerted efforts by both ASEAN Member States and India, and efficient coordination by Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, and the ASEAN Secretariat.
  3. In the Secretary-General of ASEAN’s Keynote Address at the Opening of the Delhi Dialogue V on 19 February 2013, H.E. Le Luong Minh, suggested ASEAN and Indian officials undertake a mid-term review of the implementation of this Plan of Action and map out the course of actions and possible joint activities from 2013 until 2015, which would better correspond to the Vision set out by the Leaders at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, and study the important recommendations in the Report of the ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Group presented to the Leaders at the 10th ASEAN-India Summit in November 2012. The Mid-Term Review is being undertaken closely by the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) and the Ambassador of India to ASEAN.POLITICAL AND SECURITY COOPERATION
  4. In the political sphere, India has been actively participating in various consultative meetings under dialogue and cooperation frameworks initiated by ASEAN, such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference (PMC)+1 Sessions, ASEAN Economic Ministers+1 Consultations, the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) and Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum. ASEAN Member States and India are also involved in consultative meetings under thr rubric of Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), which help contribute to enhancing regional dialogue and accelerating regional integration.
  5. In demonstrating its commitment and shared interest in promoting peace, security, stability and development in the region, India ratified the Third Protocol of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) on 28 March 2012.
  6. Being highly prone to natural disasters, both ASEAN Member States and India accord priority to cooperation in this field. India participated actively in the ARF Disaster Relief Exercise (DiREx), held in Manado, Indonesia in March 2011. India also convened an EAS-India Workshop on Developing a Regional Framework for Response to Earthquake in New Delhi on 8-9 November 2012, which was attended by a large number of delegates from the National Disaster Management Agencies of the EAS participating countries.
  7. To mark the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations and the 10 years of Summit-level Partnership, India successfully hosted the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi on 20-21 December 2012, under the theme ‘ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace and Shared Prosperity’, where the Leaders declared that the ASEAN-India partnership be elevated to Strategic Partnership and adopted the ASEAN-India Vision Statement.
  8. The ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Group (AIEPG) was established to take stock of the 20 years of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations and recommend measures to further strengthen the relations. The AIEPG convened four Meetings throughout 2011-2012 and submitted its final Report to the 10th ASEAN-India Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 19 November 2012
  9. India organized a very successful and substantive Delhi Dialogue V, on the theme ‘India and ASEAN: Vision for Partnership and Prosperity’, in New Delhi on 19-20 February 2012. Over the past five years, Delhi Dialogue has evolved as a premier ASEAN-centric Track 1.5 platform for discussion on strategic political and economic issues facing the region. The next edition of Delhi Dialogue would be tentatively held in New Delhi in March 2014.
  10. In cooperation to tackle transnational crime, the 1st ASEAN Senior Officials on Transnational Crime (SOMTC)+India Consultation was held on 16 June 2005 in Siem Reap, Cambodia and the 2nd SOMTC+India Consultation was held on 21 June 2013 in Da Nang, Vietnam. The 2nd SOMTC+India Consultation agreed to develop a SOMTC+India basic work plan on combating transnational crime. In drug trafficking and related issues, India participated in the “ASEAN Plus Three Airport Interdiction Task Force Workshop” on 20-21 May 2013 in Bali, Indonesia, where Deputy Director General (Ops), Narcotics Control Bureau of India made a presentation at the meeting on drugs interdiction in India. Another project under this area of cooperation entitled “Workshop on Curbing the ATS Threat: Precursor Chemicals and Chemical Diversion Control” has been approved and expected to implemented in the near future in Malaysia
  11. Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS) of India convened the 1st Round Table of the ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks (AINTT) on 7-8 August 2012. To enhance the visibility of the collaborative event, the 2nd Round Table of AINTT was held in Vientiane on September 10, 2013.ECONOMIC COOPERATION
  12. On the economic front, volume of trade and investment flows between ASEAN and India has been increasing at a healthy pace, but remains relatively low compared with other dialogue partners of ASEAN. According to the latest ASEAN Trade Statistic Database, bilateral trade in the year 2011-2012 grew by 4.6%, from US$68.4 billion in 2011 to US$71.6 billion in 2012. ASEAN’s exports were valued at US$ 43.84 billion and imports from India amounted to US$27.72 billion in 2012. At the 10th ASEAN-India Summit in November 2012, the Leaders set the target of US$100 billion by 2015 for ASEAN-India trade. Foreign direct investments (FDI) from India rebounded from negative US$ 1.7 billion in 2011 to US$2.6 billion in 2012
  13. The ASEAN-India Trade-in-Goods (TIG) Agreement, signed in 2009, has already entered into force, following the ratification by all Parties, and is expected to spur further trade. The TIG Agreement is expected to facilitate the creation of an open market in a region comprising about 1.8 billion people and a combined GDP in excess of USD 3.8 trillion.
  14. Following the announcement at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit on the conclusion of the negotiations on both Agreements on ASEAN-India Trade in Services and Investment, three ASEAN-India expert group meetings were convened in 2013 and at the 11th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers (AEM-India) Consultation held on 21 August 2013 in Brunei Darussalam, it was noted that the legal scrubbing of the text for both Trade in Services and Investment Agreements has been finalized. The concluded draft Agreement is targeted to be signed on the sidelines of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Bali from 3-6 December 2013. .
  15. With the objective of fostering business linkages both in public and private sectors, which is crucial to the expansion of trade and investment relations, ASEAN Member States and India have been working closely to broad-base participation of the business community in the annual ASEAN-India Business Fair and Conclave (AIBF), being held in New Delhi since 2011. The 1st AIBF was held on 2-6 March 2011 with participation of an estimated 500 trade exhibitors, business leaders, practitioners and entrepreneurs from ASEAN and India to showcase their products and services.
  16. The 2nd AIBF was also held at the sidelines of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, in New Delhi on 18-20 December 2012. Alongside, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) also convened the 3rd ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC) Meeting, which was participated by the private sector representatives from all AMS, with Malaysia as the Country Coordinator, to support the promotion of multilateral trade and investment relations between ASEAN and India focusing on strengthening ASEAN-India’s economic linkages through business-to¬business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2) dialogues and cooperation. The ASEAN Economic Ministers-India consultation held on the sideline sof the Commemorative Summit in December in New Delhi agreed to establish an ASEAN-India Trade and Investment Centre (AITIC) to further promote trade and investments between ASEAN and India and India circulated a concept paper on the establishment of AITIC at the 11th AEM-India Consultation in Brunei Darussalam on 21 August, 2013.
  17. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) remain a key engine of economic growth both in ASEAN and India. The ASEAN-India SME Conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 21-22 June 2012 was a useful initiative to kick-start joint efforts, aimed at sharing knowledge and best practices in business incubation, technological innovation and policy frameworks in the SME sector. Following up on the discussions of SME sector Senior Officials in Kuala Lumpur, the first Joint Consultations between ASEAN SMEWG and India was held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam on 15 November 2012 and the Meeting agreed to prioritize 4 areas of cooperation towards enhancing SMEs’ access to (i) finance, (ii) technology and ICT, (iii) human resources development and (iv) SME promotion. The Meeting also called for workshops and seminars to be convened in the future where expertise and best practices can be exchanged. The details of future cooperation will be deliberated at the 2nd Joint Consultation between the ASEAN SMEWG and India in November 2013 in Myanmar, at the side-lines of the 33rd ASEAN SMEWG Meeting.
  18. In order to promote mutual investments, Invest India, in cooperation with Indian Missions and Investment Promotion Agencies in relevant ASEAN Member States organized Investment Roundtables in Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City between March and June 2013.
  19. An ASEAN-India Workshop on Quality Systems in Manufacturing was organized by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) on 8-11 April 2013 in New Delhi. The workshop was the first phase of the ASEAN-India Programme on Quality Systems in Manufacturing, which will be followed by Indian Experts Missions to select ASEAN Member States for sharing experience and bench-marking of global best practices in metrology in the second year, and building competencies in CLMV countries in lab accreditation and offering services available in India suited to their needs in the third year.FUNCTIONAL AND DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

    (I) HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

  20. In demonstration of its strong commitment to the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), India had set up Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDCs) in the CLMV countries during the period 2004 to 2009. All these centres have been handed over to the host countries. India has also established Centers for English Language and Training (CELTs) in CLMV countries. At the ASEAN-India summit held in Thailand in October 2009, Prime Minister of India announced that India would be happy to increase the number of Centre for English Language Training (CELT)s & Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC)s in CLMV countries. Following this, the requests for additional CELTs in Kampongcham in Cambodia; Luang Prabang and Sawanakhet in Lao PDR; Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar; and at the National Defence Academy of Vietnam in Ha Noi are also under active consideration of the Indian Government. In examining these requests, a team from India visited Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam in May-June 2013. India has agreed to continue financial support for another two years to the Vietnam-India Centre for English Language Training Centre (VICELT) in Danang..
  21. . Telecommunications Consultant India Ltd (TCIL) is preparing a project for linking through Internet-based Virtual Private Network (VPN) the various CELTs, EDCs, Educational Institutions and Health Centers to four content providers on the Indian side, namely, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU); English & Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad; Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad; and Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medicine (SGPGIM), Lucknow, to provide tele-education and telemedicine services.
  22. India has also been extending financial assistance to the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) in Jakarta, which is involved in undertaking policy research on topics of interest to the ASEAN Member States that can contribute to bridging the development gap within ASEAN.
  23. Under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme, India has been offering 1102 scholarships annually to the ASEAN Member States for a large number of short-term training programmes in various sectors. Additionally, India also provides around 200 scholarships to ASEAN students every year for bachelors, masters and doctoral programmes in premier Indian Institutes every year under the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)’s scholarship scheme. So far, 294 space scientists from ASEAN Member States have benefited from the training programmes at the Center for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP) in Dehra Dun, India.
  24. Since 2006, the Foreign Service Institute of India (FSI) has been conducting, annually, a special training course for around 50 ASEAN diplomats.. A new addition to the programme is the inclusion of three officials from the ASEAN Secretariat since 2011. FSI held the last course during from 21 November to 20 December 2012. The 8th Special Course for ASEAN Diplomats will be conducted by FSI, New Delhi, from 13 November to 13 December 2013.
  25. The Centre for Public Policy (CPP), Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore has proposed to hold an “Executive Programme in Public Policy and Management” for 20 ASEAN civil servants. The programme would be divided into capsules of academic programmes including case analysis, internal travel and dissertation purposes.(II) AGRICULTURE
  26. The ASEAN-India Cooperation in Agriculture and Forestry was formalized through the convening of the First Meeting of the ASEAN-India Working Group on Agriculture (AIWGA) on 29-31 January 2011 in New Delhi. The 1st ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (AIMMAF), held on 8 October 2011 in Jakarta endorsed the Medium-Term Plan of Action (PoA) for ASEAN-India Cooperation on Agriculture and Forestry (2011-2015) and the Terms of reference (TOR) of the ASEAN-India Working Group on Agriculture and Forestry (AIWGAF).
  27. The ASEAN India Cooperation on Agriculture and Forestry has been progressing well through the implementation of Medium-Term Plan of Action (PoA) for ASEAN-India Cooperation on Agriculture and Forestry (2011-2015). The ASEAN-India Agri Expo and the Symposium on Indo-ASEAN Export Potential of Agriculture Products were organised on 17 – 19 October 2012 and 18 October 2012, respectively in New Delhi in conjunction with the 2nd AIMMAF held on 17 October 2012
  28. The inaugural edition of the ASEAN-India Newsletter on Agriculture and Forestry was released in October 2012, and the 2nd and 3rd edition were published in May and September 2013, respectively. The ASEAN-India Farmers Exchange Programme, organised in December 2012 in India and in April 2013 in Malaysia have provided a good platform for the young, progressive and enterprising farmers of ASEAN Member States and India to be informed of the new opportunities and developments in the agriculture sector, exchange views and to share best practices and innovations in agriculture.
  29. The Conference of Heads of Agriculture Universities and Research Institutions of ASEAN and India was held on 18-21 February 2013 in New Delhi, as part of the initiative to enhance the quality of higher agricultural education and research as well as extension through cooperation between agricultural universities
  30. In the area of capacity building and transfer of technology, a number of trainings had been organized, namely Training on Agricultural Equipment for Productivity Enhancement; Training on Processing and Value Addition of Soy Products and Coarse Cereals; and Training on Production and Processing Technology for Value Addition of Horticultural Products in 2012. Furthermore, several trainings had been approved and will be conducted in 2013, such as Training on training on IT Application for Agricultural Extension (e-Extension); Training on Organic Certification for Fruit and Vegetables (2013); and Training on Organizing and Implementing an Effective National Seed Quality Control System.
  31. The 3rd meeting of the ASEAN-India Working Group on Agriculture was held in New Delhi on 6-7 May, 2013 where the 2nd edition of ASEAN-India Newsletter on Agriculture & Forestry was released. The meeting discussed the following 7 project proposals for implementation in 2013:
    • Exchange of Scientists from Agricultural Research Institutions in ASEAN Member Countries and India including Central Universities;
    • ASEAN-India Fellowships for Higher Education in India and ASEAN Countries;
    • Training on IT Application for Agricultural Extension (e-Extension);
    • Training on Organic Certification for Fruit and Vegetables;
    • Training on Organizing and Implementing Effective National Seed Quality Control System;
    • Training on Conventional and Molecular Techniques for Diagnosis of Transboundary Animal Diseases; and
    • Managing Food Security and Price Volatility.
  32. The 3rd AIMMAF was held in Kuala Lumpur on September 28, 2013 and the Ministers adopted the Report and Recommendations of the co-chairs of the ASEAN India Working Group on Agriculture and Forestry. The 3rd edition of the ASEAN-India Newsletter on Agriculture and Forestry was also released during the Meeting.(III) SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
  33. A large number of projects in the field of science & technology are being successfully implemented with budgetary support from the ASEAN-India Science & Technology Development Fund (AISTDF) and the ASEAN-India Fund (AIF).
  34. The ASEAN-India Science & Technology Digital Library project, spearheaded by Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India and the Indian Institute for Information Technology (IIIT), Allahabad, has achieved significant progress. The basic hardware, developed and tested in IIIT-Allahabad, for Content Digitization Centers have been installed at ASEAN Secretariat Headquarters and sites selected by 8 ASEAN Member States (except Singapore and Brunei Darussalam). This is meant for complete digitization of printed knowledge resources into an electronic, shareable form in English and translated forms in local languages. IIIT-Allahabad has also conducted training of technical persons associated with digital library sites nominated by participating ASEAN Member States in India from 16 March to 15 April 2012. The 42nd Meeting of the Sub-Committee on Microelectronics and Information Technology (SCMIT-42) held on 20-21 May 2013 in Tagaytay City, noted that each of the participating AMS is currently arranging procurement of the necessary equipment such as computers and servers following the specification given by the Indian Coordinator.
  35. The ASEAN-India Virtual Institute for Intellectual Property (VIIP) project, aimed at setting up an ASEAN-India Web Portal on Intellectual Property is being executed by Andhra Pradesh Technology Development & Promotion Centre (APTDPC); Confederation of Indian Industry (CII); Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), an autonomous organization under DST, and the Government of Andhra Pradesh. This portal would be a dynamic platform for sharing resources on IP laws, and policies; providing IP support services on all aspects of IP filing-infringement-protection-enforcement; and training in IPR. The first cut of the portal with the structure and framework was shared with ASEAN Secretariat & Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA) by APTDC in July 2012. While the structure is made, content from Indian side is being incorporated periodically in the portal. The coordination meeting held in Jakarta on 7 February 2013 took stock of this project, where the Indian Project coordinators informed the meeting that the portals have been made available and named www.aseanindiaip.org. The meeting agreed that ASEAN Member States would give feedback on portal framework and TOR to ASEAN Secretariat in due course, after which ASEAN Member States would upload relevant information to the portals. ASEAN and India are looking at co-launching of the portal at the 2nd ASEAN-India S&T SOM/ 10th ASEAN-India S&T Working Group/ 4th ASEAN-India S&T Development Fund Governing Council Meetings in Kuala Lumpur on November 10, 2013.
  36. The ASEAN-India Technology Information & Commercialization Portal (TICP) is being developed by CII and Tamil Nadu Technology & Development Promotion Centre (TNTDPC). The portal would act as a dynamic platform for linking existing technology transfer/licensing organizations, R&D institutions, and laboratories in ASEAN and India for sharing of information and expertise, training, posting technology, contracting research offers, promoting collaborative technology development and facilitating transfer of technologies between ASEAN and India. The coordination meeting between India and ASEAN nodal points was held in Jakarta on 7 February 2013, where the Indian Project coordinators informed the meeting that the portals have already been made available and named www.asean-india-tic.org. ASEAN and India are looking at co-launching this portal at the 2nd ASEAN-India S&T SOM/ 10th ASEAN-India S&T Working Group / 4th ASEAN-India S&T Development Fund Governing Council Meetings in Kuala Lumpur on November 10, 2013.
  37. The 9th ASEAN-India S&T Working Group (AIWGST-9), held on 11 September 2012 in New Delhi, India, approved the project proposal from National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibrations Laboratories (NABL) on Quality Systems Manufacturing. Consequently, the 3rd Meeting of the Governing Council of the AISTDF on 12 September 2012 approved the budget for undertaking this activity. The ASEAN-India Workshop on Lab Accreditation was successfully conducted in New Delhi on 8-11 April 2013.
  38. The ASEAN-India Surface Engineering Project has seen smooth implementation and the final review meeting was held in Tsukuba, Japan on 26-28 November 2012. ASEAN and India agreed during the final review meeting that a new project will be formulated to continue the cooperation between ASEAN and India. Malaysia will coordinate with India and prepare the draft proposal to be submitted to the ASEAN Sub-Committee on Materials Science and Technology (SCMST) for their review and consideration.
  39. The Technology Mission/Expert Meeting on Functional Food, held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 6-7 September 2012, elicited enthusiastic response from the ASEAN side. This would be followed up by finalization of collaborative R&D projects through a joint call for proposals by both India and the ASEAN Member States. As a follow up to the technology mission, a side meeting on Functional Food between ASEAN and India was held in conjunction with the 13th ASEAN Food Conference held on 9-11 December 2013 in Singapore. ASEAN and India agreed to pursue cooperation on the following themes which could be funded by the AISTDF:a. Alternatives for sugar to combat the growing incidence of diabetes and other related consequences (led by Philippines); and
    b. Tropical fruit and vegetable processing technology improvement and value added product development (led by Singapore).
  40. The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa-led project on Extent of Transfer of Alien Invasive Organisms in South/Southeast Asia Region by Shipping is also proceeding well. Among the completed activities include the 1st Training Workshop on Sampling Methods held on 19-20 July 2011 in Singapore; the 2nd Training Workshop on Identification Methods held on 22-23 February 2012 in Visakhapatnam; and the 3rd Workshop on Statistical Methods was held on 4-5 March 2013 in Singapore. The ASEAN-India International Workshop under the project will be held on 26–28 November 2013 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
  41. ASEAN-India Workshop on Marine Biotechnology was organized on March 19-22, 2013 at the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa. The workshop recommended developing a programme for R&D and technology development in the fields of Marine-culture Biotechnology, Bio-mining for Marine Natural Products and Pollution Bioremediation. As a follow-up, NIO, Goa had participated at the ASEAN Sub-Committee on Marine Science and Technology (SCMSAT) meeting at Tagaytay, Philippines on May 20-21, 2013 where the concept note on Marine Bio-technology R&D programme was discussed.
  42. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), New Delhi, will pursue the joint ASEAN-India project proposal (coordinated by Indonesia) on Indian Ocean Dipole Mode, El Nino Southern Oscillation project, which is to be implemented in three years.
  43. The 20th National Children’s Science Congress (NCSC) was held on 27-31 December 2012 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India with the theme “Energy: Explore, Harness and Conserve”. The event was participated by 27 students and 9 teachers/supervisors. The event provided opportunities for the students to present and share their school projects along with young scientists from India. The 21st NCSC is scheduled to be held on 27-31 December 2013 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.(IV) ENVIRONMENT
  44. A special meeting of the Senior Environment Officials from ASEAN and India was held in Phnom Penh in October 2011 to deliberate on ways of identifying projects of mutual interest under the USD 5 million ASEAN-India Green Fund (AIGF).
  45. Expert Meeting on the Preparation of Regional Programme on Climate Change in ASEAN-India Region was held in Bangalore, India, on 27-28 June 2012 to draw up a detailed work plan envisaging collaborative activities in four broad areas i.e. (i) climate change projections and impact assessment; (ii) climate change adaptation; (iii) Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Low Carbon Technology; and (iv) REDD+. This was endorsed by the ASEAN-India Environment Ministers Meeting in New Delhi on 6-7 September 2012. Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, has submitted a detailed project proposal for implementation of this Work Plan
  46. At the Nagoya Protocol Workshop held in New Delhi on 4-5 September 2012, National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), Chennai, the ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), Manila have agreed to develop a detailed project proposal, including a work plan and budget for consideration under the AIGF for organizing workshops, seminars/conferences, exchange visits, providing scholarships for professionals working in the field of biodiversity in the ASEAN region to spread awareness on ABS. The Workshop also recommended exploring cooperation on other areas of biodiversity such as urban biodiversity and achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. ACB has submitted the proposal with ASEAN Member States inputs to NBA and is currently waiting response from NBA. Experts at the Nagoya Protocol Workshop also agreed to work towards the development of a Traditional Knowledge Digital Library on Biodiversity to be hosted by India that would support efforts of ASEAN Member States to preserve, document and protect traditional knowledge and prevent misappropriation of bio-diversity and associated TK.
  47. The above decisions have also been endorsed by the ASEAN-India Environment Ministers Meeting (AIEMM), held in New Delhi on 6-7 September 2012. The AIEMM focused on biodiversity with the theme ‘Learning from the Past, Assessing the Present and Planning for the Future’ in view of the recently concluded Rio+20 Summit and the forthcoming Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on 8 – 19 October 2012 in Hyderabad, India. The Meeting adopted the New Delhi ASEAN-India Ministerial Statement on Biodiversity, expressing commitment to mutual cooperation with a view to achieving the objectives of the Conference on Biodiversity (CBD) to conserve and sustainably utilize the biological diversity in the region.(V) INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
  48. A consolidated project proposal from the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Noida entitled ‘One Comprehensive Proposal of India to Create a Sustainable IT Infrastructure for Advanced IT Training Using Conventional, Virtual Classroom and e-Learning Technologies’ to set up four IT centers in CLMV countries has been approved in the early 2013. Subsequently, a composite delegation from India comprising representatives from Department of Electronics and Information Technology and C-DAC had detailed discussions on modalities of setting up of the IT centers in CLMV countries and the resource Centre in Noida, India. Subsequently, consultations and discussions on detailed arrangement and management, including identification of host institute by CLMV countries, have been undergone to pave the way for the implementation of the project.
  49. The proposal also envisages training programmes in various IT-related courses for 320 participants from all 10 ASEAN Member States. A special TELSOM Meeting, held in Hanoi, Vietnam on 5-7 September 2012, has endorsed the project proposal. The 6th TELMIN+India and the 7th TELSOM+India to be held in Singapore on 13-15 November respectively would discuss the modalities for the implementation of the project.(VI) NEW AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
  50. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India organized an ‘ASEAN-India Workshop on Cooperation in Renewable Energy’ of experts and policy planners in New Delhi on 5-6 November 2012. The workshop aimed at sharing of experience among participating countries on development and deployment of renewable energy and to identify the institutions for establishing long-term cooperation between institutions in India and ASEAN Member States. The workshop was attended by 17 participants from 8 ASEAN Member States with over 170 delegates from all over India and from different streams of renewable energy. A number of experts made their presentations on the subjects of Wind, Solar photovoltaic, Solar thermal, Bio-energy, Renewable Energy Resource Assessment Techniques, Off-grid Applications and Micro-grid for Rural Electrification. The major areas of cooperation that emerged in the workshop included (i) experience sharing in renewable energy resource assessment using GIS and remote sensing technologies; (ii) sharing of renewable energy equipment calibration and testing facilities; (iii) protocol and evaluation methods; (iv) standards and certification procedures; (v) off-shore power supply and transmission technology utilizing wind and ocean technologies; (vi) regional network on R&D on renewable energy technology facilitating sharing of best practices and lessons learnt; (vii) exchange of ideas for providing energy access to rural population through promotion of micro-grids/off-grids based on renewable technologies; and (viii) sharing of experience in financing of renewable energy projects.
  51. The Workshop was followed by a meeting of ASEAN-India New and Renewable Energy Ministers in New Delhi on 7 November 2012. The Ministers of ASEAN countries presented the current status of renewable energy utilization in their respective countries and all of them reiterated the need for augmenting renewable energy applications in view of ensuing needs and also to curb emission of Green House Gases. Many ASEAN countries sought cooperation in solar, wind, biomass, micro-hydro technologies, including capacity building from India. The Chairman’s Statement at the Conclusion of the First ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Renewable Energy was adopted by the Ministers and Heads of Delegations of ASEAN Member States and India.
  52. Two proposals from India, i.e. (i) Special Training Programme in Wind Turbine Technology and Applications at the Center for Wind Energy Technology, Chennai; and (ii) Special Training Programme on Solar Energy Technologies and Applications at the Solar Energy Center, Gurgaon, are currently awaiting ASEAN CPR approval before implementation.(VII) SPACE SECTOR
  53. Indian Space Research Organistion (ISRO) convened a meeting of Heads of Space Agencies from ASEAN and India in Bangaluru on 18-19 June 2012 to discuss its proposals for (i) Establishment of a Data Reception and Image Processing Facility for ASEAN in Ho Chi Minh City and up-gradation of the Existing Biak Telemetry Tracking and Command Station in Indonesia; and (ii) Provide training to ASEAN Space Scientists at Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP), Dehradun. The project proposal is awaiting ASEAN CPR approval. India is also taking internal financial approval before implementation could begin.
  54. All ASEAN Member States welcomed the offer from India to share satellite imageries from OCEANSAT-2 and RESOURCESAT-2 through the proposed facilities, as also to train space scientists on how to make best use of these satellite imageries for socio-economic benefits in the region. The proposals have been approved in principle by the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology (COST) and the Sub-Committee on Space Technology Applications (SCOSA). The projects in Vietnam and Indonesia has seen cost escalation because of a decision to deploy the latest technology and the ASEAN request for operational maintenance from ISRO, India, for five years instead of the present three years.(VIII) TOURISM
  55. The 8th Meeting of ASEAN-India Tourism Working Group and the 3rd ASEAN-India Tourism Ministers Meeting were held in Manado, Indonesia, in January 2012. India became the first Dialogue Partner to conclude an MoU on Strengthening Tourism Cooperation with ASEAN when it was signed by the Ministers during their meeting in Manado on 12 January 2012. The MoU, intended to serve as the key instrument for more action-oriented cooperation in the tourism sector, envisages exchange visits of travel writers, tour operators, teachers/faculty of hospitality institutes; participation in each other’s tourism exhibitions; and sharing of best practices in accreditation and standard development in the tourism and hospitality sector.
  56. At the 4th ASEAN-India Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in Vientiane on 21 January 2013, A Protocol to amend to the MOU on Strengthening Tourism Cooperation with ASEAN was signed and the ASEAN-India Tourism website was launched.
  57. Under the hospitality scheme of Ministry of Tourism of India, 131 journalists, photographers, travel agents, travel writers from the ASEAN countries visited India during the year 2012-2013. The Ministry also hosted 42 delegates from ASEAN Member States including tour operators/Media persons/Hotelier for the International Tourist Mart 2013 held in Guwahati on 18-20 January 2013.
  58. The Ministers also welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Tourism Promotional Chapter in Mumbai, India that would act as tourism marketing and promotion arm of ASEAN National Tourism Organizations.(IX) TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE
  59. Greater physical connectivity between India and ASEAN remains a shared objective. There are three proposals which are either on-going or suggested by ASEAN for India’s consideration with regard to land connectivity. These include (i) the India-Myanmar-Thailand Highway (ii) its extension to Laos and Cambodia and (iii) the development of a new highway also linking Vietnam. There is also a study on a Mekong-India Economic Corridor conducted by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), which proposes the linking of corridors in the peninsular, and possibly the north east regions of India with the East Asian region.
  60. To discuss the multilateral highway projects, India was invited to the 21st ASEAN Land Transport Working Group (LTWG) Meeting in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 3-5 July 2012. On the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, the LTWG noted that the Tamu and Kalewa friendship road is being constructed with India’s assistance. About 132 km has been completed and handed over to Myanmar. Work on other 28 km is under progress. In May 2012, the Prime Minister of India has announced that India would undertake the task of repair/ up-gradation of 71 bridges on the Tamu-Kalewa friendship Road. Also, India would undertake the up-gradation of the 120 km Kalewa-Yargyi road segment to highway standard while Myanmar would undertake upgradation of the Yargyi-Monywa stretch to highway standard by 2016. This project would help in establishing trilateral connectivity from Moreh in India to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar. Separately, the Government of India had taken initiatives to prepare DPR for construction of Chaungma-Yinmabin section (30 km); and upgradation from single lane to double lane of Yinmabin-Pale-Lingadaw section (50 km). Thailand informed the Meeting on the implementation progress of the road sections from Mae Sot / Myawaddy – HPaan – Thaton (198 km), in particular on the 2nd Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, road from Myawaddy-Food of Dwana Range, and the new alignment (28.5 km) from Dwana Range-Kawkareik.
  61. With the view to carry forward the implementation of the Trilateral Highway, India, Myanmar and Thailand have revived the Joint Task Force on the Trilateral Highway between India-Myanmar –Thailand. Thailand informed the Meeting that the meeting to discuss the implementation of Trilateral Highway is under the ambit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Recognising the importance of effective coordination among the technical highway experts of India, Thailand and Myanmar, the LTWG shared the view that it is necessary to conduct the implementation meetings of Trilateral Highway at technical level. The first meeting of the revived Joint Task Force on Trilateral Connectivity was held on 10-11 September 2012 in New Delhi and agreed to work towards a seamless Trilateral Connectivity by 2016. Thailand proposes to host the next Task Force Meeting, back to back with an India-Myanmar-Thailand Ministerial Meeting on Trilateral Highway later this year.
  62. On discussion of India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and its extension to Laos and Cambodia and the development of new Highway also linking Viet Nam, Indian delegation met the delegations of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam on the sidelines of LTWG Meeting. Lao PDR officially conveyed the proposed routes and Cambodia informed the possible route. Myanmar has also submitted its route alignments. Viet Nam conveyed their proposed routes at the inaugural ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC)-India Meeting in Balikpapan, Indonesia on June 10, 2013. . Both ASEAN and India agreed to deliberate this ASEAN-India highway issue at the ASEAN Highways Sub-Working Group Meeting. The 12th ASEAN Highway Sub Working Group (AHSWG) Meeting in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 15 May 2013 took note of the progress in the implementation of India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and its extension to Lao PDR and Cambodia in Lao PDR and Thailand including the development of Lao PDR-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, and reparation of Thailand-Myanmar Friendship Bridge and some damaged roads..
  63. At the 35th Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM) on 28-30 May 2013 Viet Nam officially proposed route connection with Lao PDR, i.e., from Ha Noi – Hoa Binh – Son La – Tuan Giao – Dien Bien – Tay Trang (border with Lao PDR) and with Cambodia, and with Cambodia, i.e., from Moc Bai – An Suong Intersection – Bien Hoa – Vung Tau. The Meeting noted that these proposed routes will be discussed at the next AHSWG Meeting. To date Laos PDR has not provided confirmation on the feasibility of these proposed routes.
  64. On the Indian side, a Central Inter-Ministerial Group has been set up with representatives from various Ministries/Departments, related to transport and connectivity issues. This Group is tasked with studying the different proposals on connectivity between India and ASEAN. The Inaugural ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC)-India Meeting on Connectivity, held in Balikpapan on 10 June 2013, was convened to enhance ASEAN-India connectivity cooperation and explore concrete ways and means to support the MPAC. At the said Meeting, the Meeting noted the following suggestions: (i) the establishment of a Working Group on Maritime Cooperation under the MTWG-India Meeting; (ii) welcoming the idea of developing special activities to strengthen the economic corridors linking various modes of transport in ASEAN, including cross-border procedures and enabling policy frameworks for trade and transit; (iii) explore ways to give economic viability and sustainability to the geographic corridors of connectivity on land and sea; (iv) promoting a mutually beneficial business visa regime, including grant of long term multiple entry business visa and stay permit for professionals and their families. ASEAN has called for support in infrastructure development, such as Mekong-India Economic Corridor (MIEC) and the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and its extension to Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam; the development and upgrading of the 47 designated ports, which could enhance trade and investment between ASEAN and India; the engagement with India to explore possible cooperation on public-private partnership (PPP), including enhancing capacity of ASEAN Member States on PPP; greater support from India on people-to-people connectivity such as trainings, scholarships and exchange visits, tourism, cultural exchanges and know-how on education such as collaboration with the ASEAN University Network, ASEAN Virtual Learning Resource Centre (AVLRC); preservation of heritage sites.
  65. To discuss the issue of maritime connectivity, a delegation from Ministry of Shipping, Government of India participated in the 24th ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group (MTWG), held in Yangon, Myanmar on 17-19 October 2012. ASEAN Member States welcomed India’s proposals on ASEAN-India maritime transport cooperation and requested India to provide more information including the clear objectives of each proposal. ASEAN Member States also reiterated their views that ASEAN-India collaborative projects/activities should be in line with ASEAN Strategic Transport Plan /Brunei Action Plan and transport-related measures under the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. India attended the 25th ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group Meeting in Mandalay on 12-14 March 2013.
  66. The 14th ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) Meeting in Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines on 6 November 2008 adopted the ASEAN-India Aviation Cooperation Framework, which laid the foundation for closer aviation cooperation between ASEAN and India. Both sides look forward to the convening of the 1st meeting of the ASEAN-India Working Group on Regional Air Services Arrangement soon, with the view to conclude the ASEAN-India Air Transport Agreement and its Implementing Protocols.(X) HEALTH AND PHARMACEUTICALS
  67. Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India had proposed a draft MoU between D/o AYUSH, M/o Health & Family Welfare and counter-part agencies from ASEAN on cooperation in the field of traditional medicine. Following the 6th ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Health Development (SOMHD) meeting, held in Myanmar in July 2011, India was informed that the ASEAN Member States currently did not see the need for concluding an MoU on cooperation in the field of traditional medicine with India. The SOMHD also felt that India should pursue specific cooperation proposals in the fields of pharmaco-vigilance and clinical research with the ASEAN countries on a bilateral basis instead of taking the multilateral route.
  68. A proposal from Department of AYUSH on a ‘Workshop on Harmonizing trade regulations in respect of Indian systems of medicines in the ASEAN region’, is currently being contemplated.SOCIO-CULTURAL COOPERATION (PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE INTERACTION)
  69. Well institutionalized mechanisms for annual exchange visits of students, farmers, media persons, diplomats, think tanks and experts remain a cornerstone of ASEAN-India relations.
  70. Under the ASEAN-India Media Exchange Programme (AIMEP), during the three year period (2012-14), 40 ASEAN media personnel (in batches of 20 each) will visit India each year; and 40 Indian journalists in five groups of 8 will visit a selection of two ASEAN countries per group. A group of 20 ASEAN journalists visited India at the time of Delhi-Dialogue IV in February 2012. The Indian government received the second batch of ASEAN editors during the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in December 2012 and third batch at the time of Delhi Dialogue V in February 2103. Reciprocally, the first batch of 8 Indian journalists visited Cambodia and Vietnam in early July 2012, coinciding with the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting and the launch of the Logo for the Commemorative Summit and related activities in Phnom Penh. The next group of 8 Indian journalists visited Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam from 26 June-3 July 2013 in conjunction with the 11th ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on 1-2 July 2013 in Brunei Darussalam.
  71. Since 2007, groups of 100 ASEAN students have been visiting India annually on a multi-city study tour. Recognizing the potential for drawing ASEAN and India in the future through the programme, the Indian Prime Minister announced at the ASEAN-India Summit in Bali in 2011, that the number of ASEAN students visiting India has been increased to 250 from 100. The ASEAN-India Students Exchange Programme was expanded in 2012, with 220 students from ASEAN visited the four regions of India on 11-21 December 2012 before converge in New Delhi for the ceremonial flag down of the Car Rally on 21 December 2012. For 2013, a group of 110 ASEAN students from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR and Malaysia visited India from 21-30 September 2013. The next group of 125 ASEAN students from Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are expected to visit India in November 2013.
  72. In fulfillment of the Leaders’ direction to strengthen the linkages among the academia, scholars and think-tanks from ASEAN Member States and India, Research and Information Systems for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi, convened the first ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks (AINTT) Meeting in New Delhi on 7-8 August 2012. The AINTT Meeting, conceptualized to bridge the information gap and provide policy inputs to the Governments of ASEAN Member States and India, came up with several recommendations for further strengthening ASEAN-India relations. The 2nd Round Table of AINTT was held in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 10 September 2013. The theme of the 2nd AINTT entitled “Deepening ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership”, was aimed at soliciting and deliberating on ways and means to advance the ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership which was elevated to a “strategic partnership” at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit held in December 2012.
  73. The India-ASEAN Eminent Persons Lecture Series was reinstated in October 2011, with RIS as the project proponent, after a gap of six years, and four eminent persons from India, Justice J.S.Verma, Smt. Indira J. Parikh, Mr. Chandrashekhar Dasgupta and Admiral Arun Prakash, delivered lectures in Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam, during October – November 2011. A fresh project proposal has been approved by both sides to continue the Eminent Persons Lecture Series, where a number of eminent persons travelling between India and ASEAN in both directions to deliver lectures on various topics of interest in 2013. This year, under the programme, Prof Deepak Nayyar and Prof. Romila Thapar delivered lecture in Ho Chi Minh City on February 21 2013
  74. A delegation comprising 6 parliamentarians from ASEAN visited India from 29 July to 1 August 2012 at the invitation of the Speaker of Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament). The delegation was led by H.E. Mr. Marzuki Alie, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Indonesia and President of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA). The visit, conducted under India-ASEAN Parliamentary Exchange Programme, helped in cementing bonds between the Parliamentary Institutions of India and the ASEAN Member States. Indian Parliamentary delegation has been participating in the General Assembly of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly since 2010 as ‘Observer’. An Indian Parliamentary delegation participated in the 34th General Assembly of AIPA held in Brunei Darussalam from 17-23 September 2013.
  75. On the direction of the Leaders in the ASEAN-India Vision Statement, adopted by the Commemorative Summit in November 2012, ASEAN and India have established an ASEAN-India Centre at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) in New Delhi. The ASEAN-India Centre is to function as a resource in support of governmental efforts underway in the 26 inter-governmental mechanisms, which currently propel sectoral cooperation between ASEAN and India.OTHER ASEAN-INDIA COMMEMORATIVE YEAR SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES
  76. As part of special Commemorative Year activities, the ASEAN CPR was invited by Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India in February 2012 on a week-long visit to India. The CPR participated in Delhi Dialogue IV. They also had an opportunity to interact with senior officials in key Ministries and Agencies involved in the implementation of various ASEAN-India collaborative projects.
  77. India hosted another delegation from the ASEAN Secretariat on a familiarization trip in August 2012. The officials attended the 1st AINTT Meeting in New Delhi. They also had interactions with various Ministries and Organizations in New Delhi and Bangalore.
  78. ASEAN and India organized two splendid initiatives to spread public awareness of ASEAN-India relations among the youth in the region, i.e. An expedition by INS Sudarshini and an ASEAN-India Car Rally.
  79. The INS Sudarshini Ship Expedition traced the ancient trade route along the monsoon wind and called on 13 ports in 9 ASEAN countries. The expedition highlighted India’s maritime linkages with Southeast Asia, and emphasize connectivity and networking among the people of the region. .
  80. The second edition of the ASEAN-India Car Rally was flagged off from Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 26 November 2012. After passing through several capitals and cultural and commercial centers, having covered 7448 km over 21 days, the rally was flagged down at Guwahati on 17 December 2012. Indian Missions in ASEAN Member States also organized joint business seminars, tourism road shows, and cultural performances along the rally route and at ports of call by Sudarshini to celebrate our relations.FUTURE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN OF ACTION
  81. The 14th ASEAN-India Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting, held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 4 May 2012 took note of the ASEAN’s Matrix of Two-Year Implementation Programme (2011-2012) to implement the Plan of Action to implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity (2012-2015). The Meeting recognized the importance of the Matrix as a monitoring tool of the implementation of the ASEAN-India Plan of Action and agreed to accelerate the implementation of the Plan of Action.
  82. The next meeting of ASEAN-India Senior Officials (AISOM), proposed to be held in Bandar Seri Begawan in 2014, will present an occasion to review ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations and chart a road map for implementation of the decisions of Leaders at the 11th ASEAN-India Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam on 10 October 2012.