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ASEAN-India Joint Statement on Cooperation on the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific for Peace, Stability, and Prosperity in the Region

October 28, 2021

WE, the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Republic of India, on the occasion of the 18th ASEAN-India Summit on 28 October 2021;

REAFFIRMING our commitment to promote the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership guided by the fundamental principles, shared values and norms that have steered the ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations since its establishment in 1992, including those enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo- Pacific (AOIP), the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025, the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plans, the Declaration of the East Asia Summit (EAS) on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations (2011), the Vision Statement of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations (2012), and the Delhi Declaration of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit to mark the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations (2018);

RECALLING the civilisational linkages, maritime connectivity and cross-cultural exchanges between Southeast Asia and India over several millennia as a strong foundation for the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership;

NOTING with satisfaction the achievements made for almost three decades of ASEAN-India relations through multi-faceted engagements guided by successive ASEAN-India Plans of Action;

REAFFIRMING the objectives and principles of the AOIP which guide ASEAN's engagement in the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean regions to promote an Indo- Pacific region that embraces ASEAN Centrality, openness, transparency, inclusivity, a rules-based framework, good governance, respect for sovereignty, non- intervention, complementarity with existing cooperation frameworks, equality, mutual respect, mutual trust, mutual benefit and respect for international law, including the UN Charter, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other relevant UN treaties and conventions, the ASEAN Charter and relevant ASEAN treaties and agreements, while encouraging external partners to work with ASEAN to undertake practical cooperation on the four key areas identified in the AOIP;

NOTING that both the AOIP and India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) share relevant fundamental principles in promoting peace and cooperation;

HEREBY decide to:

1. Commit to supporting ASEAN Community building and strengthening the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership across the whole spectrum of political- security, economic, socio-cultural, and development cooperation by utilising relevant existing ASEAN-led mechanisms and fora, including the ASEAN-India Summit, East Asia Summit (EAS), the Post Ministerial Conference with India (PMC+1), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF).

2. Reinforce the ASEAN-centred regional architecture that is strengthened by ASEAN’s Community building processes in dealing with challenges and by seizing opportunities arising from current and future regional and global environments with a focus on the open, inclusive and rules-based regional architecture, economic cooperation, and strengthened confidence and trust.

3. Continue to deepen the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership by exploring potential cooperation between the AOIP and the IPOI – including in the four areas outlined in the AOIP, namely, maritime cooperation, connectivity, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and economic and other possible areas of cooperation.

4. Enhance existing cooperation and explore possible cooperation in the following areas/activities which may include, but are not limited to:

4.1. Narrowing the development gap through, among others, capacity building, provision of scholarships, training courses and workshops for professionals and proactive stakeholder engagement, to support the implementation of the IAI Work Plans;

4.2. Strengthening ASEAN-India economic relations, including through enhancing trade facilitation and increasing the utilisation of the ASEAN- India Free Trade Area;

4.3. Social infrastructure development targeting the key social sectors; to support the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework; strengthen public health infrastructure; enhance capacities for preparedness and response to pandemics and public health emergencies; as well as for vaccine and pharmaceutical research, development, manufacturing and distribution; and promote cooperation between universities and research agencies in the health sector;

4.4. Prevention and management of zoonoses, including through undertaking and supporting research and studies, and sharing data, information, technology and tools;

4.5. Human capital development, including through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and possible support for the ASEAN TVET Council;

4.6. People-to-people connectivity by supporting cooperation in areas such as education, women empowerment, youth, tourism, media, and engaging think-tanks and local governments / authorities;

4.7. Connecting the connectivities through exploring key priority areas of cooperation to reinforce the existing MPAC 2025 and promote prosperity and development in the Indo-Pacific region; and exploring potential synergies with sub-regional frameworks, such as, the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), Mekong sub-regional cooperation frameworks, including Ayeyawady- Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS);

4.8. Maritime transport cooperation in the region;

4.9. Information and communications technology (ICT) cooperation, including through strengthening ICT infrastructures by addressing supply-chain risks and vulnerabilities of ICT products and systems, ICT security, capacity building and knowledge sharing in areas such as digital economy, digital connectivity, e-commerce, FinTech, Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data, cross-border data flows in compliance with the existing national laws and regulations, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR);

4.10. Capacity Building for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs);

4.11. Science, technology, research and development, smart and green infrastructure and sustainable cities development, including through the ASEAN Smart Cities Network;

4.12. Energy security, including cooperation on renewable, clean, and low- carbon energy, including solar energy, as well as other national models and priorities such as bio-circular-green development;

4.13. Environment protection, including through solutions for pollution reduction, waste management, transboundary haze, marine debris management, and marine environment conservation;

4.14. Development of the agriculture, livestock and fishery sectors, including through strengthening the region’s capacity in using science-based interventions, sharing good practices and promoting collaboration among experts;

4.15. Sustainable management of marine resources, including through exploring cooperation in the field of blue economy; and action against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing;

4.16. Collaboration on maritime education, research, development, innovation and pilot projects;

4.17. Biodiversity conservation and management through regional capacity building, and support for the work of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB);

4.18. Climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk reduction and management, including through cooperation with relevant ASEAN centres or institutions as mentioned in the ASEAN Charter;

4.19. Promotion of complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including through cooperation with relevant ASEAN centres, institutions and mechanisms under the ASEAN Charter that facilitate sustainable development cooperation in the region, as well as the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD);

4.20. Green development and sustainable consumption and production through information sharing, exchange of best practices and capacity building;

4.21. Maritime cooperation, including on maritime security, efforts to counter piracy and armed robbery against ships, maritime safety and search and rescue (SAR) operations, and information sharing, through appropriate mechanisms under the ASEAN-India framework and other appropriate ASEAN-led mechanisms.

Welcome the efforts to further strengthen ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership by exploring cooperation between the AOIP and the IPOI for peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.

Adopted on the Twenty Eighth of October in the Year Two Thousand and Twenty-One.

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