Interaction with ASEAN Journalists
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On January 23, 2018, The Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), New Delhi, hosted an interaction with visiting senior journalists from the ten of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Brunei. The interaction revolved around current issues facing the Indo-Pacific region and India’s engagement with ASEAN.

India has 30 on-going dialogues with ASEAN. Some of the salient points of discussion were:-

• The maritime domain has been the underpinning of ancient linkages as well as modern day engagements. Maintenance of a rules-based maritime order and security of sea lanes of communication (SLOC) is a strong priority for both India and ASEAN.
• India supports United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for maintaining peace and rules in maritime domain including the South China Sea.
• The historical and cultural legacies such as Ramayana and Buddhism reinforce India-ASEAN relations even today. Mapping and Joint-Development of Buddhist sites will help to broaden people-to-people contacts.
• The bilateral trade between India-ASEAN (currently $75 billion) while robust, has yet to achieve full potential. The conclusion of the India-ASEAN Services Agreement will further expand the economic engagement.
• Other avenues for cooperation enumerated were tourism, defense exchanges, education, agriculture, space cooperation, think tank to think tank exchanges etc.

The interaction was appraised as highly useful by all attendees with suggestions to increase similar interactions in the future.

Event Date: 
January 23, 2018