ASEAN

SEP 15

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Why in news?

  • FICCI’s ‘Future of India-ASEAN Connectivity partnership’ conference stressed the need to speed up the regional connectivity project between India and ASEAN countries.

About ASEAN:

  • ASEAN, officially the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is an economic union comprising 10 member states in Southeast Asia, which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration between its members and other countries in Asia.
  • It was established in 1967 with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration).
  • Chairmanship of ASEAN rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the names of Member States.

Objectives:

  • ASEAN's primary objective was to accelerate economic growth and through that social progress and cultural development.
  • A secondary objective was to promote regional peace and stability based on the rule of law and the principle of United Nations charter.
  • In 2003, ASEAN moved along the path of the European Union by agreeing to establish an ASEAN community comprising three pillars:
    • ASEAN security community
    • ASEAN economic community
    • ASEAN socio-cultural community.

Members:

  • East Timor or Timor-Leste officially applied for membership in ASEAN in 2011, but still not a member of ASEAN.

The ASEAN Charter:

  • In 2008, ASEAN member states launched a charter to move closer to ‘an EU-style community’.
  • The charter turned ASEAN into a legal entity and aimed to create a single free-trade area for the region.
  • ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) was established 2009, and the commission adopted the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration in 2012.

ASEAN Plus Six:

  • ASEAN Plus Three was the first of attempts for further integration to improve existing ties of Southeast Asia with East Asian countries of China, Japan and South Korea.
  • This was followed by the even larger East Asia Summit (EAS), which included ASEAN Plus Three as well as India, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • This group acted as a prerequisite for the planned East Asia Community which was supposedly patterned after the European Community.
  • Codification of the relations between these countries has seen progress through the development of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free-trade agreement involving the 15 countries of ASEAN Plus Six (excluding India)
  • India temporarily does not join the RCEP for the protection of its own market, but Japan, China, and ASEAN welcomes India's participation.

India and ASEAN:

  • India's relationship with ASEAN is a key pillar of her foreign policy and the foundation of Act East Policy.
  • India has a separate Mission to ASEAN and the East Asia Summit (EAS) in Jakarta.
  • Economic Cooperation:
    • ASEAN is India's fourth largest trading partner.
    • India's trade with ASEAN stands at approx. 10.6% of India's overall trade.
    • India's export to ASEAN stands at 11.28% of our total exports. The ASEAN-India Free Trade Area has been completed.
    • ASEAN India-Business Council (AIBC) was set up in 2003 to bring key private sector players from India and the ASEAN countries on a single platform.
  • Socio-Cultural Cooperation:
    • Programmes to boost People-to-People Interaction with ASEAN, such as inviting ASEAN students to India, Special Training Course for ASEAN diplomats, Exchange of Parliamentarians, etc.
  • Funds:
    • Financial assistance has been provided to ASEAN countries from the following Funds: ASEAN-India Cooperation Fund, ASEAN-India S&T Development Fund and ASEAN-India Green Fund
  • Delhi Declaration:
    • To identify Cooperation in the Maritime Domain as the key area of cooperation under the ASEAN-India strategic partnership.
  • Delhi Dialogue:
    • Annual Track 1.5 event for discussing politico-security and economic issues between ASEAN and India.
  • ASEAN-India Centre (AIC):
    • To undertake policy research, advocacy and networking activities with organizations and think-tanks in India and ASEAN.
  • Strategic Cooperation:
    • India places ASEAN at the centre of its Indo-Pacific vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).

PRACTICE QUESTION:

Which of the following countries are members of ASEAN?

1. Myanmar

2. Sri Lanka

3. East Timor

4. Laos

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 4 only

(b) 2,3 and 4 only

(c) 1, 2 and 4 only

(d) 1,2,3 and 4

Answer