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Speeches & Statements

Chairman’s Statement of the 11th ASEAN-India Summit, Bandar Seri Begawan, 10th October, 2013

October 15, 2013

1. The 11th ASEAN-India Summit, chaired by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, was held on 10th October 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. The Summit was attended by all Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States and H.E. Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of the Republic of India.

2. The ASEAN Leaders congratulated India on the successful hosting of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in December 2012 and welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN-India Vision Statement at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit and the elevation of the partnership to a Strategic level. The Leaders noted with satisfaction the various meaningful activities conducted in 2012 to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations, including the ASEAN-India Car Rally, the Expedition of naval INS Sudarshini to ASEAN countries, ASEAN-India Sectoral Ministerial Meetings namely on Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, New and Renewable Energy, and Trade and Tourism, and their related business and cultural events, which helped to make the calendar of activities fully participative of the people of the region.

3. The ASEAN Leaders welcomed India’s ‘Look East Policy’ within the framework of the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership, particularly India’s continued support to the ASEAN Community Building process covering the three pillars of ASEAN Community, enhancing connectivity, and in strengthening ASEAN Centrality.

4. The ASEAN Leaders also encouraged India to support the implementation of the Road map for an ASEAN Community (2009-2015) and contribute to the ASEAN Community Post-2015 Vision, as well as to the Bali Declaration on ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations (Bali Concord 111).

5. The ASEAN Leaders welcomed India’s announcement of a separate Mission to the ASEAN with a Resident Ambassador as an illustration of the intensification of the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership.

6. We noted with satisfaction the significant achievements made in ASEAN-India partnership over the past twenty years. We appreciated India’s consistent support and participation in the activities of the ARF and ADMM Plus in an effort to address contemporary regional and international issues facing our region. We also expressed appreciation for India’s contributions to the 2nd ADMM-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise that was held in Brunei Darussalam from 16th to 20th june 2013.

7. We recognized the importance of security, peace and stability in the region. In this connection, ASEAN Leaders agreed to further enhance cooperation and strengthen the effective implementation of the ASEAN-India 2003 Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism.

8. We noted with satisfaction the good progress made in the implementation of the Plan of Action [POA] 2010-2015 to implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity and tasked our Ministers for the timely and full implementation of the POA which would help to further deepen and enhance the ASEAN-India cooperation as well as contribute towards ASEAN’S community building targets by 2015. We agreed on the utility of continuing the activities in Environment and Renewable Energy, initiated during the Commemorative Year.

9. We hoped that the process of finalisation of some key projects including the creation of a sustainable IT infrastructure in CLMV countries; establishment of a Tracking and Data Reception Station and Data Processing Facility for ASEAN in Ho Chi Minh City and the Upgradation of Biak II in Indonesia; and progress towards cooperation between the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity [ACB] and the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) of India would provide further momentum.

10. We welcomed the Mid-Term Review of the ASEAN-India Plan of Action and the incorporation of the short-term actionable goals from the Vision Statement, particularly the establishment of the ASEAN-India Centre. In this regard, we welcomed the launching of the Centre and looked forward to the finalisation of the required modalities for operationalisation of the Centre. We also noted India’s intent to set up the separate ASEAN-India Trade and Investment Centre, announced by the ASEAN- India Economic Ministers, to promote trade and investment cooperation between ASEAN and India.

11. We were heartened to note that the total trade between ASEAN and India reached US $75.6 billion in 2012, surpassing our bilateral trade target of US$7O billion. We recall the target of US $100 billion by 2015 set at the 10th ASEAN-India Summit last year and looked forward to the signing of the ASEAN-India Trade in Services and Investment Agreement by the end of 2013 and its operationalisation by July 2014. We also tasked our officials to continue their efforts in facilitating trade and investment between the two sides.

12. We note with satisfaction the progress of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RGEP) which would build upon the ASEAN+1 Free Trade Agreements [FTAs] including the ASEAN-India FTA. We acknowledge that the RCEP recognises ASEAN Centrality in the emerging regional economic architecture and contribute to economic integration, equitable economic development, and strengthening economic cooperation among participating countries. In this regard, we looked forward to its timely conclusion by 2015.

13. The ASEAN Leaders welcomed India’s commitment to support the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity [MPAC) and connectivity in the Wider East Asia region and underscored the importance of promoting stronger linkages between ASEAN and South Asia. In this regard, we welcomed the convening of the Inaugural ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee [ACCC] and India Consultation in Balikpapan, Indonesia, on 10th june 2013. The Leaders noted India’s suggestion to establish a Working Group on Maritime Cooperation and a Working Group to discuss soft infrastructure requirements to facilitate movement of goods and services across connectivity corridors. They also took note of the suggestion from India that officials begin discussions on an ASEAN-India Transit Transport Agreement (ANTA), to conclude by end 2015.

14. The Leaders also encouraged both sides to look into the possibility of taking concrete steps towards the development of the Mekong India Economic Corridor. In this context, we welcomed the Mekong India Economic Conference to be organised by ADB-Confederation of Indian Industries in New Delhi on 19th November 2013. We also welcomed the Symposium on "Towards Realization of the ASEAN Connectivity Plus: Moving Forward with ASEAN-India Connectivity” to be organized by Thailand on 27th November 2013 in Bangkok. We took note of the progress made in the development of the Thailand-Myanmar-India Trilateral Highway. We also noted that Lao PDR undertook to expedite sending coordinated route alignments through Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam for consideration of connectivity related activities.

15. We welcomed the convening of the 2nd Round Table of the ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks on 10th September 2013 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, which is one important fora that provides policy inputs and recommendations to the Governments of ASEAN Member States and India on future ASEAN-India dialogue relations.

16. We encouraged the strengthening of ASEAN-India connectivity in information and communication technology (ICT), in particular digital connectivity, through sharing of best practices in policy, regulations and technological development and capacity building programmes.

17. We welcomed the progress on the revival of Nalanda University and the beginning of the process of signatures on the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Nalanda University at the 8th East Asia Summit on 10th October 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan, to facilitate its setting up as a non-state, non-profit and self- governing international institution of excellence.

18. The ASEAN Leaders appreciated India’s commitment to support ASEAN Community building efforts, through the Initiative for ASEAN Integration UAI), particularly the Entrepreneurship Development Centres [EDCS] and Centres for English Language Training (CELTS) in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam. It was agreed that issues of sustainability and suitable location of such Centres would be given immediate attention.

19. The Leaders encouraged further promoting and maintaining ASEAN-India maritime cooperation, in order to ensure maritime security and to effectively address all the challenges at sea. In this regard, the Leaders welcomed India’s support to the Second Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) in Malaysia on 3th October 2013, which was held back-to-back with the Fourth ASEAN Maritime Forum.

20. We welcomed greater people-to-people connectivity, through Culture, education, exchange of media and tourism, among other, to foster mutual understanding and friendship between ASEAN and India. In this regard, we are committed to advance our cooperation in tourism under the framework of the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding {MOU} between ASEAN and India on Strengthening Tourism Cooperation, including by promoting tourist arrivals from India to ASEAN and vice Versa. We also highlighted the need to enhance efforts in Visa facilitation between ASEAN and India specifically to promote a mutually beneficial business visa regime and to promote greater people-to-people interaction. In this regard, we noted the usefulness of the on-going annual programmes for people-to-people exchanges between students, diplomats, farmers, media and members of the strategic communities in ASEAN Member States and India.

21. We encouraged for more cooperation in the field of energy security, as it is a common concern for both ASEAN and India. We commended our relevant ministers and officials to initiate efforts to address energy security through joint research, exchange of best practices, transfer of technology and cooperation among energy centres in ASEAN and India.

22. We welcomed the convening of the 3rd ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry held on 28th September 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We noted, with appreciation, the progress in the implementation of numerous activities under the Medium-term Programme of Action for ASEAN-India Cooperation on Agriculture and Forestry (2011-2015), such as the ASEAN-India Agri Expo, launching of ASEAN-India Newsletter on Agriculture and Forestry, and series of training and capacity building programmes. We took note of the enhancement and strengthening of cooperation on food security through the widening of food production base exchange of expertise between ASEAN and India to enhance resilience in food security planning to address price volatility of food commodities.

23. We identified disaster management as a common priority for both ASEAN and India. ASEAN region and India are well known as natural disaster prone areas. In this regard, the ASEAN Leaders encouraged India to support the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme and to Collaborate with the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre).

24. We welcomed India’s commitment in environmental cooperation, particularly the establishment and operationalisation of the ASEAN-India Green Fund for the promotion of technologies aimed at promoting adaptation to and mitigation of climate change. We encouraged early finalisation of a work plan envisaging collaborative activities in climate change.

25. We are committed to working closely together on common regional and international issues of mutual concern and supporting each other’s role at the global level as Well as Working together to promote and strengthen inclusive and multi-track arrangements.

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