2017 marked the Silver Jubilee of the ASEAN-India partnership. This long standing journey was filled with many exciting milestones. India became a full ASEAN dialogue partner in 1996 and in 2012, the two sides marked two decades of partnership. Both India and ASEAN recognize the potential of mutually beneficial policies and are working towards strengthening the bonds that both parties have forged together.
The celebration of 25 years of India-ASEAN partnership promises to establish new milestones in the development journeys of the two sides. India has invited all the ASEAN Heads of State/Government to its National Republic Day, a first for it, and all ten countries have confirmed participation. A high-profile ASEAN-India Business and Investment Meet & Expo is being alongside, which has been described by Hon. Prime Minister as the largest ever such show in India with ASEAN.
The booming economic relations between ASEAN and India are rooted in ancient connectivities and shared civilisational space extending over centuries and influencing both sides positively.
India’s Look East Policy of 1992 transformed into the Act East Policy of 2014 as enunciated by Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Act East Policy has seen the Government of India redoubling its efforts to forge closer economic ties with ASEAN nations. Under this forward-thinking initiative, the Government of India has announced plans to revamp connectivity in the North-East states of India as it is considered a ‘gateway’ to ASEAN nations, along with negotiating a series of treaties designed to strengthen ASEAN-India trade ties.
Both ASEAN and India have benefited from close economic ties and recognize the potential for future growth and prosperity. ASEAN-India bilateral trade currently stands at more than US$70 billion. ASEAN and India are working towards reaching US$200 billion in bilateral trade by the year 2022, building on each other’s expertise and trade capabilities. The two sides enjoy a combined GDP of US$3.8 trillion, marking a large consumer market that can benefit both of them.
ASEAN-India trade ties have grown exponentially over the last couple of years. Bilateral trade has increased more than threefold from US$21 billion in 2005-06 to over US$70 billion in 2016-17. Thanks to the ASEAN India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA), there has been an elimination of tariffs for multiple products, paving the way for future growth. In addition, the two sides have signed an agreement for trade in services and investments which will take their economic engagement to a new level.
ASEAN is India’s 4th largest trading partner, accounting for 10.2 per cent of India’s total trade in 2016-2017. India’s exports to ASEAN increased by more than 20 per cent during the same time. Investment flows too remain robust both ways, with ASEAN accounting for approximately 12.5 per cent of investment flows into India since 2000.
CII and the ASEAN Region
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has worked closely with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs to organize key trade and business summits for strengthening the bond between ASEAN and India. The summits are designed as international platforms for India and ASEAN nations to explore new and existing avenues of cooperation.
CII’s efforts are directed towards bringing together Indian and ASEAN businesses together for fruitful dialogue and partnerships, in the backdrop of trade fairs, seminars, overseas missions, and conferences. As far back as 2004, CII had organised the first ever ASEAN-India Car Rally, which was once again replicated in 2012. These demonstrated the land connectivity between the two sides.
The first ASEAN-India Connectivity Summit, themed “Powering Digital and Physical Linkages” from 11-12 December 2017 in New Delhi, was hosted by CII in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the ASEAN-India Centre (AIC). The event saw Indian and ASEAN ministerial representatives giving keynotes and engaging in fruitful dialogue. The summit also featured exclusive B2B and B2G meetings that allowed delegates to explore new avenues of business.
The ASEAN-India Business and Investment Meet & Expo 2018
CII is organizing the ASEAN-India Business and Investment Meet & Expo 2018 in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The summit is being organized in the backdrop of the 31st ASEAN Leaders Commemorative Summit in New Delhi which will host ASEAN countries’ – Heads of State, Senior Government Officials and Industry leaders.
The ASEAN-India Business and Investment Meet & Expo will also feature an exclusive exhibition by Indian companies showcasing their key products.
The Summit presents an exclusive chance for delegates to exchange views with policy makers, industry captains, entrepreneurs and thought leaders. Delegates participating in the summit will also get an opportunity to enhance regional connects through convergence of new business ideas, unveiling of ‘ready-to-invest’ projects and new avenues for fundraising.
Do join us as we kickstart a new era in ASEAN-India economic ties!