Viet Nam News
NEW DELHI — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Phạm Bình Minh has led a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation to the 9th Delhi Dialogue, which opened in the Indian capital on Tuesday.
The two-day event in New Delhi was attended by India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and ministers, officials and leaders of member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In her opening remarks, Swaraj spoke about India’s efforts to promote relations with the ASEAN, saying that the country has shifted from a “Look East” to “Act East” policy. India places the ASEAN at the heart of this policy and the centre of its dream of an Asian century, she said.
The Indian foreign minister laid emphasis on core co-operation areas between India and the ASEAN: trade, connectivity and culture. She invited ASEAN businesses to invest in India and take advantage of the new Goods and Services Tax (GST).
India and the ASEAN share the same geographical space, and face common traditional and non-traditional security challenges, Swaraj said, adding that both sides have already enhanced collaborations to ensure regional peace and security, through ASEAN-led forums such as the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) and Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum.
Swaraj affirmed that freedom of navigation and respect for international law, notably the UNCLOS, is an urgent issue, and declared India’s commitment to boost maritime co-operation with the ASEAN so as to fully tap the potential of the ocean economy.
India will continue to work with the ASEAN in fighting terrorism, piracy and trans-boundary crimes, and in ensuring cyber space security, the minister said.
The 9th Delhi Dialogue, themed “India-ASEAN Relations: Charting the Course for the Next 25 Years”, is an annual dialogue that discusses politics, security, economy and culture-society issues between the ASEAN and India. — VNS