The 6 th ASEAN-India Dialogue on March 7 discussed major issues related to the Vision Statement of the Commemorative Summit marking the 20 th anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations in December 2012.

Hoang Anh Tuan, Director of the Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies under the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, and Vo Xuan Vinh, head of the International Politics and International Relations Department of the Institute for South East Asia Studies under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, presented reports at the discussion.

ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh stated that during the past five years of implementing the Roadmap to an ASEAN Community by December 2015, over 80 percent of set measures in three blueprints has been realised.

During the implementation of this roadmap, ASEAN has enhanced economic connectivity and social responsibility as well as narrowed the development gap among its member countries, he said.

The grouping’s position in the region and the world has continuously improved with peace, security and stability in the region being maintained, he noted.

ASEAN has strengthened consensus on regional and global issues of common concern, Minh said, adding that the group has attained essential achievements in reducing taxes and created favourable conditions for trade, investment, capital market linkage while strengthening food security, narrowing development gap, and fostering cooperation with outside partners.

Talking to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in New Delhi on the sidelines of the dialogue, the ASEAN Secretary-General said the dialogue focused discussions on such topics as Translating the Vision Statement, Regional Architecture in Asia-Pacific: Roles of India and ASEAN and Delhi Dialogue: The Way Forward.

Minh said as ASEAN and Indian leaders pledged in the Vision Statement to enhance their connectivity, the expansion and improvement of road, railway, waterway and airway linkages are necessary to further promote the two sides’ trade and investment.

He also stressed the importance of information-technology and socio-culture cooperation and people-to-people exchange.

The two sides should further their coordination to boost cooperation in agriculture and food security, tourism development, space science, information technology, environmental protection and climate change adaptation, he suggested.

At the March 6 opening session, Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh, head of the Vietnamese delegation, emphasised the importance of the Vision Statement and applauded the dialogue’s theme of “Realising the ASEAN-India Vision for Partnership and Prosperity”.

He spoke highly of the essential contributions of ASEAN members and India to realising the Vision Statement not only for the interests of the ASEAN-India Partnership but also for peace, security and prosperity in the whole region.

ASEAN and India should make collective responses to both challenges and opportunities in the context of geo-political, geo-strategic and geo-economic developments in East Asia as well as use all their existing cooperation mechanisms to realise the Vision Statement, he noted.-VNA