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International Relations

16th India-ASEAN Summit

  • 04 Nov 2019
  • 4 min read

Why in News

  • The Prime Minister of India attended the 16th India-ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on November 03, 2019.

Key Highlights

  • Along with this Summit, the other summits that took place in Thailand are-
    • 35th ASEAN Summit,
    • 14th East Asia Summit, and
    • 3rd meeting of RCEP.
  • During the summit, the discussions were held to promote India-ASEAN strategic partnership along with cooperation in the field of maritime security and blue economy, trade and investment, connectivity, science and technology, and innovation.
    • On the socio-cultural front, the focus was made on enhancing people-to-people connectivity, cultural exchanges, humanitarian aid, and tourism.
  • The Prime Minister also talked about the mutual coordination between India's vision of the Indo-Pacific region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Outlook for maintaining strategic balance in the region, which has been witnessing growing Chinese assertiveness.
  • At the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit, a trade negotiation deal is yet to be finalized after considering all issues that concern Indian interests in trade in goods, services, and investments.
  • The PM addressed the Indian community at the 'Sawasdee PM Modi' event in Bangkok.
    • In the Thai language, the word ‘Sawasdee’ is used for greetings and goodbye.
  • During the visit, the Indian PM held bilateral meetings with a number of other world leaders present at Bangkok.


  • The Indian Prime Minister highlighted the importance of Myanmar to India's Look East Policy and the Neighbourhood First policies.
  • The emphasis was laid on building a stable and peaceful border by improving physical connectivity to and through Myanmar to Southeast Asia via. building roads, ports, and expansion of air connectivity.
  • India would continue to support the capacity expansion programme for Myanmar's police, military and civil servants, as well as its students and citizens.
  • India plans to host a business event for the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam) in Yangon at the end of November 2019.


  • India and Indonesia agreed to work together for peace, security, and prosperity in order to achieve their shared vision on maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
    • The two leaders discussed the threat of extremism and terrorism and agreed to work closely bilaterally and globally to tackle this menace.
  • India is working with Indonesia to strengthen the ties in the areas of defence, security, connectivity, trade and investment, and people-to-people exchanges.
  • The Indian PM highlighted the need for greater market access for Indian commodities in Indonesia including, pharmaceutical, automotive and agricultural products.
  • India shares a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Indonesia. And this year (2019), India and Indonesia commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.


  • India and Thailand agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in areas such as trade, culture, and defence industries sector.
  • Emphasis was laid to enhance connectivity between the two countries, including in the areas of physical and digital connectivity.
  • Thailand 4.0 initiative of transforming Thailand into a value-based economy is complementary to India’s priorities Digital India, Skill India, Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart Cities, Jal Jeevan Mission, etc.
  • In the contemporary context, India’s Act East policy is complemented by Thailand’s Look West policy which has made the relationship deep, robust and multifaceted.

Source: PIB

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