13 Sep 2020
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs co-chaired the ASEAN - India Ministerial Meeting stressing the strong ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership based on principles in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), ASEAN’s support to India’s constructive role in the region through India’s Act East Policy, and the need for enhanced cooperation especially on production and distribution of medicines and vaccines. The Meeting also discussed promoting maritime cooperation under India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), enhancing regional connectivity, and both sides expressed readiness to provide assistance for repatriation of their respective nationals.
On 12 September 2020, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, and H.E. Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India, co-chaired the ASEAN - India Ministerial Meeting via video conference during the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, in Thailand’s capacity as Country Coordinator for ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations, delivered the ASEAN common statement, in which he highlighted a dynamic ASEAN-India partnership that is built upon a close and long-time friendship as well as historical and cultural ties between India and Southeast Asia. He further underlined that amidst the current geopolitical challenges and adverse impact of COVID-19, the strength of the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership should be advanced based on principles in the AOIP and in this regard, ASEAN supports India’s constructive role in the region through India’s Act East Policy. All of this would help build an environment of trust and confidence that is conducive to post COVID-19 recovery. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs also stressed the need for enhanced cooperation across all areas, such as production and distribution of medicines and vaccines, as India has leading expertise in medical and pharmaceutical R&D, as well as capacity-building in ICT in preparation for the digital era. A joint effort to promote academic network was also highlighted with the successful convening of the 6th Roundtable of the ASEAN-India Network of Think-Tanks (AINTT), co-hosted by Thailand and India in August 2020. The recommendations from the Roundtable were also noted by the Meeting.
In addition, the Meeting also discussed other areas of cooperation for taking forward the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership, including promoting maritime cooperation, which India suggested the opportunity for cooperation under India’s IPOI, driving economic partnership based on the utilisation of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement, as well as enhancing regional connectivity through the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and its possible extension to Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam. Both sides expressed readiness to provide assistance for repatriation of their respective nationals. The Meeting also exchanged views on regional and international issues and adopted the Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity (2021-2025).
The ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting is convened annually during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings with a view to enhancing ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership across various dimensions. Currently, Thailand serves as Country Coordinator for ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations under the term of 2018 – 2021.