The 20th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers’ meeting was held on 21st August 2023 in Semarang ,Indonesia . Rajesh Agrawal, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry represented India in the meeting which he co hosted with Dr. Zulkifli Hasan, Minister of Trade, Indonesia.
The Economic Ministers or their representatives from all the 10 ASEAN(Association of SouthEast Asian Nation) countries i.e, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam participated in the meeting. Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste also joined the Meeting as an observer.
The Secretary later reviewed the bilateral trade and investment relations between India and ASEAN and underscored their commitment to strengthen and enhance the economic partnership between India and ASEAN.
India and ASEAN registered a bilateral trade of USD 131.5 billion in 2022-23. The trade with ASEAN accounted for 11.3% of India’s global trade in 2022-23.
Indonesia is currently the chairman of ASEAN and all meetings related to ASEAN and India in 2023 are being hosted by Indonesia.
India - ASEAN meeting
As per the Look East foreign policy of the Narasimha Rao government in 90s ,the government of India focussed on increasing trade and investment with East Asia with special focus on ASEAN.
Evolution of India -ASEAN relationship
India was initially made a sectoral partner by ASEAN in 1992. With the increasing depth in the relationships the status was changed to a Dialogue Partner in 1996.
In 2002 the relationship was further upgraded to Summit level and finally in 2012 the relationship was elevated to Strategic partnership
Association of SouthEast Asian Nation (ASEAN)
It is considered to be one of the most successful regional groups in the world .
It was set up in 1967 as a group of South-East Asian nations.
At present there are 10 members in the group . They are
Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam .
The headquarters of ASEAN: Jakarta , Indonesia.