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India, ASEAN agree to establish strategic partnership, combat terror

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar represented India at the summit. The ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

India and the ASEAN today decided to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership that was meaningful, substantive, and mutually beneficial and pledged to jointly combat terrorism and transnational crimes.

In a joint statement issued at the end of the 19th India-ASEAN Summit at Phnom Penh in Cambodia, the two sides reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, maritime safety and security, freedom of navigation, and overflight in the region in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law.

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar represented India at the summit. The ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

India and the ten-nation grouping decided to advance maritime cooperation, including in maritime security, countering piracy and armed robbery against ships, maritime safety, search and rescue (SAR) operations humanitarian assistance, disaster management, and emergency response and relief.

As part of increased cooperation against terrorism, the two sides decided to act against transnational crimes, including economic crimes and money laundering, cybercrime, drugs, and human trafficking, and arms smuggling; and military medicine.

They agreed to strengthen cooperation on cybersecurity, such as by establishing new dialogue platforms between ASEAN and India and working closely with the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence.

The two sides also agreed to expedite the review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) to make it more user-friendly, simple, and trade-facilitative, and work together to forge resilient supply chains, explore cooperation on a Single Window platform to enhance trade facilitation and integration.

They decided to enhance cooperation on the digital economy through a series of regional capacity-building activities in digital transformation, digital trade, digital skills, and innovation, as well as Hackathons.

The two sides will also explore cooperation such as city-to-city partnerships between the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) and the Smart City Mission of India by fostering exchanges of best practices and capacity-building to help build cities that are resilient, innovative, well-connected, and technologically advanced.

They will strengthen healthcare for the people by, enhancing collaboration on public health, including in the areas of research and development (R&D), public health emergency preparedness, training of healthcare professionals, medical technology, pharmaceuticals, vaccine security, and self-reliance, vaccine development, and production, as well as general and traditional medicine.

India and the ASEAN will further enhance ASEAN-India cooperation in the space sector, including through the establishment of Tracking, Data Reception, and Processing Stations in Viet Nam and Indonesia, and encourage cooperation between ASEAN and Indian space industry players, including in new areas of collaboration.