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Joint Statement on ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

November 12, 2022

WE, the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Republic of India, on the occasion of the 19th ASEAN-India Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations, on 12 November 2022 in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.

ACKNOWLEDGING the deep civilizational linkages, maritime connectivity, and cross-cultural exchanges between Southeast Asia and India which have grown stronger over the last 30 years, providing a strong foundation for ASEAN-India relations;

REAFFIRMING our commitment to guide the ASEAN-India Partnership by the principles and norms enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the ASEAN Charter, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Declaration of the East Asia Summit (EAS) on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations, the Delhi Declaration of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit to mark the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations (2018);

NOTING that both the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) share relevant fundamental principles in promoting peace and cooperation as outlined in the ASEAN-India Joint Statement on Cooperation on the AOIP for Peace, Stability and Prosperity in the Region adopted at the 18th ASEAN-India Summit in 2021;

NOTING the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/76/72 which emphasises, in the Preamble, the universal and unified character of the 1982 UNCLOS, and which reaffirms that the Convention sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out and is of strategic importance as the basis for national, regional and global action and cooperation in the marine sector, and that its integrity needs to be maintained;

APPRECIATING India’s support for ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture and its continued contribution to regional peace, security, and prosperity and to ASEAN integration and the ASEAN Community building process;

RECOGNISING the successful implementation of the ASEAN-India Plans of Action for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity through ASEAN-India Fund (AIF), ASEAN-India Green Fund (AIGF), ASEAN-India Science & Technology Development Fund (AISTDF) as well as through project-specific direct financial assistance;

COMMENDING various commemorative activities to celebrate 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India relations which is designated as the ASEAN-India Friendship Year, notably the Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in New Delhi in June 2022; the visit of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly delegation to India in August 2022; the ASEAN-India High Level Conference on Renewable Energy in February 2022; the launch of ASEAN-India Network of Universities in August 2022; the ASEAN-India Artists Camp in October 2022, and some planned activities, including an ASEAN-India Defence Ministers’ Informal Meeting and Maritime Exercises, the ASEAN-India Music Festival and the Youth Summit;

Do hereby declare to:

1. Establish the ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that is meaningful, substantive and mutually beneficial, and task our officials to follow up on its implementation;

2. Reaffirm the importance of maintaining ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture in the Indo-Pacific, and deepen dialogue and coordination through existing ASEAN-led mechanisms and fora, including the ASEAN – India Summit, the 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), the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), and cooperate on initiatives to support and contribute to the ASEAN Integration and Community-building process;

3. Reaffirm the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, maritime safety and security, freedom of navigation and overflight in the region, and other lawful uses of the seas and unimpeded lawful maritime commerce and to promote peaceful resolutions of disputes, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the relevant standards and recommended practices by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO);

4. Advance maritime cooperation, including in maritime security, countering piracy and armed robbery against ships, maritime safety, and search and rescue (SAR) operations humanitarian assistance, disaster management, and emergency response and relief;

5. Explore concrete activities to implement the ASEAN-India Joint Statement on Cooperation on the AOIP for Peace, Stability, and Prosperity in the Region through enhanced cooperation between the AOIP and the IPOI, with a focus on maritime cooperation, connectivity, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and economic and other possible areas of cooperation;

6. Enhance cooperation against terrorism and transnational crimes including international economic crimes and money laundering, cybercrime, drugs and human trafficking, and arms smuggling; and in military medicine while reaffirming that it plays an important role and offers to ensure health security in the region;

7. Strengthen cooperation on cybersecurity, such as through establishing new dialogue platforms between ASEAN and India, and working closely with the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence, and the ADMM Cybersecurity and Information Centre of Excellence;

8. Expedite the review of 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 Single Window platform to enhance trade facilitation and integration, and promote the development of MSMEs and start-ups, including through business-matching events with the facilitation by the ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC);

9. Enhance ASEAN-India cooperation on digital economy through a series of regional capacity-building activities in digital transformation, digital trade, digital skills and innovation, as well as Hackathons;

10. Explore fintech cooperation including unified and interoperable digital financial systems between ASEAN and India, which would expand opportunities for businesses and e-commerce;

11. Enhance cooperation in transport and connectivity in land, air and maritime domains, including through the early completion and operationalisation of the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway while looking forward to its eastward extension to Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam, and exploring synergies between the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025, and India’s connectivity initiatives under its Act East Policy in line with the "Connecting the Connectivities” approach, to strengthen regional connectivity;

12. Enhance cooperation in the field of environment, including biodiversity and climate change as well as explore cooperation in the field of energy security, including cooperation on clean, renewable, and low-carbon energy in line with the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation 2021-2025 and India’s renewable energy priorities, as well as other national models and priorities such as bio-circular-green development;

13. Enhance cooperation in smart agriculture including exchange of best practices in the use of new technologies to develop a future-ready, resilient, and sustainable food supply;

14. Explore cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation in areas such as blue economy, healthcare, climate action and sustainable development;

15. Explore cooperation such as city-to-city partnerships between ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) and 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;

16. Strengthen healthcare for the peoples 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;

17. Further enhance ASEAN-India cooperation in the space sector including through the establishment of a 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;

18. Further expand existing projects with ASEAN, including under the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), such as the Centres of Excellence in Software Development and Training (CESDT); scholarship schemes under the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), ASEAN-India Science & Technology Collaboration and Nalanda University; and explore Quick Impact Project (QIP)s under the Mekong Ganga Cooperation forum;

19. Promote the revival of tourism and related industries which have been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, through effective implementation of the ASEAN-India Tourism Work Plans;

20. Enhance exchanges and cooperation in the areas of culture, education, media and academia by further expanding the existing cooperation under initiatives such as Doctoral Fellowships in India for ASEAN, ASEAN-India Network of Universities, ASEAN-India Youth Summits and hackathons, and continue to work on activities such as the ASEAN Culture Heritage List;

21. Establish and strengthen the institutional linkages between corresponding institutes of India and ASEAN under all the pillars of cooperation;

22. Promote complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including through cooperation with the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD);

23. Explore 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), Indonesia-Malaysia- Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), Singapore-Johor-Riau (SIJORI) Growth Triangle, Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia- Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), and Mekong sub-regional cooperation frameworks, including Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) and Ayeyawady Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), and to support ASEAN and India’s efforts in promoting equitable development by aligning sub-regional growth with the comprehensive, mutual growth and development of ASEAN and India;

24. Continue to work together on regional and global issues of common concern while endeavouring to strengthen our partnership through the ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which shall contribute to further strengthening ASEAN-India relations through strategic cooperation for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

ADOPTED in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on the Twelfth of November in the Year Two Thousand and Twenty-Two.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
November 12, 2022

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