Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (C) attends the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit (Photo VNA)

New Delhi (VNA)
– Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc joined other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India at a summit in New Delhi on January 25 to celebrate the 25th founding anniversary of ASEAN-India dialogue partnership.

During the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit themed “Shared Values, Common Destiny”, leaders discussed the development prospects of the relations and agreed on measures to enhance their strategic partnership.

They expressed pleasure at the development of ASEAN-India relations over the past 25 years, with India one of the top 10 trade partners of ASEAN and two-way trade reaching 58.45 billion USD in 2016.

The two sides established more than 30 dialogue mechanisms from high level to ministerial level and working groups while cultural and people-to-people exchanges have developed strongly.

Both sides also agreed to deepen the bilateral strategic partnership in all aspects via full implementation of the ASEAN-India action plan in 2016-2020.

The two sides will continue reinforcing all-level dialogue mechanisms and enhance cooperation in regional peace and security issues, preventing terrorism, extremism and cross-border crimes.

They vowed to step up trade relations and collaboration in navigation, aviation, information technology and support small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and promote business exchanges.

ASEAN and India also committed to increasing cooperation in culture, education-training, solar energy development, environmental protection and biodiversity. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated his commitment to support ASEAN to narrow development gaps and expand cooperation with the bloc, especially physical and digital connectivity, in addition to making use of the pledged one-billion-USD credit package.

Earlier, ASEAN and Indian leaders met to talk cooperation in marine security in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean regions.

They agreed to consider maritime cooperation a pillar in ASEAN-India strategic partnership in the future.

They will push ahead with dialogues and cooperation through regional mechanisms to maintain peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation as well as address disputes via peaceful means and in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The countries agreed to cooperate in search and rescue at sea, protecting the marine environment and ecosystem, preserving and making sustainable use of maritime resources. 

On the occasion of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, the two sides’ leaders affirmed to support the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and soon finalise the Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

At the end of the summit, ASEAN and Indian leaders adopted the Delhi Statement mapping out visions to promote the bilateral strategic partnership in the years to come.

Addressing the event, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highlighted the development in ASEAN-India relations over the past 25 years in politics, economics, science-technology, culture, people-to-people exchanges and development cooperation.

The PM proposed the two sides strengthen trade and investment cooperation, regarding this as a driving force for ASEAN-India ties, and use scientific and technological accomplishments of the fourth Industrial Revolution to speed up development.

He suggested embracing land and marine connectivity, promoting people-to-people exchanges, forging cooperation for regional peace, stability and coping with traditional and non-traditional security challenges.

Regarding cooperating in marine security, the PM urged ASEAN and India to strengthen coordination and respect law, including the 1982 UNCLOS while focusing on measures to deal with maritime challenges and develop a green sea-based economy.

He called for the early completion of the marine transportation agreement and information sharing in marine policies as well as cooperation in the inter-regional Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

As part of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and other ASEAN and Indian leaders engaged in banquets chaired by the Indian PM and President along with a ceremony to launch a postage stamp collection marking the 25th anniversary of bilateral dialogue partnership, and a photo exhibition featuring ASEAN-India relations.-VNA