A conference was held in New Delhi on December 13 to look back the 25 years of the ASEAN-India ​Partnership. (Photo: VNA)

New Delhi (VNA) – Vietnamese Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh has highlighted the strong development of the relations between ASEAN and India over the past 25 years in various fields.

The two sides established 30 dialogue mechanisms, including high-level and minister-level meetings across fields, he said at a conference to look back the 25 years of the ASEAN-India Partnership in New Delhi on December 13.

Cooperation between ASEAN and India will support each other to reach stronger development as both sides account for a quarter of the world’s population with a total GDP of 3,800 billion USD, according to the diplomat.

ASEAN is India’s fourth largest trade partner, with two-way trade reaching 71.69 billion USD in 2016-2017 compared to 30.09 billion USD in 2007-2008.

Investment from ASEAN to India surged by 70 billion USD over the past 17 years, making up over 17 percent of India’s total foreign direct investment (FDI), while India’s investment to the bloc reached over 40 billion USD in the same period.

The Ambassador said the ASEAN Connectivity Blueprint set forth five strategic fields with a close connection with India’s Act East Policy, towards expanding cooperation between the two sides.

He believed that the conference will contribute to further promoting the strategic partnership between the two sides.

For his part, Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, expressed his belief in the closer ties between India and ASEAN in the future, especially in the economy and trade.

He underlined the significance of enhancing the India-ASEAN connectivity as well as the promoting diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between the two sides.

The event, hosted by the Kalinga International Foundation, focused on issues related to the India-ASEAN strategic partnership and India’s Act East Policy; economic cooperation between the two sides; regional and bilateral cooperation; and security challenges as well.-VNA