The 15th meeting of the ASEAN-India Joint Cooperation Committee took place at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on June 23 to review cooperation and adopt measures to boost progress.

The meeting was attended by members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN and India’s Ambassador to ASEAN, Suresh K. Reddy.

Reddy stressed the association’s importance of ASEAN and strategic role in India’s Act East policy and India’s willingness to cooperate with ASEAN, especially after the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of 2015.

Economically, India is ASEAN’s sixth largest trade partner with the total trade volume reaching 67.7 billion USD, which is expected to rise to 200 billion USD in 2020.

ASEAN appreciated India’s assistance in forming the AEC, boosting connectivity and expanding support to small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The two sides pledged to boost cooperation in a more practical and effective way, especially in the fields of mutual interest such as maritime security, cyber security, antiterrorism, science and technology, information technology, climate change response, disaster relief and narrowing development gap.

They agreed on measures to establish an ASEAN-India Centre in the near future.

Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam, Vietnam’s permanent representative to ASEAN, reiterated Vietnam’s commitment to closely cooperating with India to bring the ASEAN-India relationship to a new height, especially while Vietnam coordinates the ASEAN-India relationship from August 2015 to August 2018.-VNA