US India Global Review 2018

JAN. 15 W hile we com- memorate 25 years of ASEAN- India relations, India’s ties with Southeast Asia date back more than 2,000 years. Ancient trade between India and countries such as Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand is well-documented. Southeast Asian cultures, tradi- tions and languages have been profoundly influenced by these early linkages. We see Indic Hindu-Buddhist influences in his- torical sites such as the Angkor Temple Complex near Siem Reap in Cambodia, the Borobudor and Prambanan temples near Yogyakarta in Indonesia, and the ancient candis in Kedah in Malaysia. The Ramayana is embedded in many Southeast Asian cultures, including in Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand. Singapore’s Malay name is Singapura, derived from Sanskrit and meaning ‘lion city’. Singapore has always advocat- ed India’s inclusion in the ASEAN Community. India became an ASEAN Sectoral Dialogue Partner in 1992, a full ASEAN Dialogue Partner in 1995, and participated in the East Asia Summits (EAS) from 2005. The EAS is a key com- ponent of an open, inclusive and robust regional architecture, and the region’s main strategic Leaders-led forum. ASEAN-India relations were fur- ther elevated to a strategic part- nership in 2012, the 20th anniver- sary of ASEAN-India relations. Today, ASEAN and India enjoy multi-faceted cooperation across ASEAN’s political-security, eco- nomic and socio-cultural pillars. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Act East’ policy and 3-C (Commerce, Connectivity, Culture) formula for strengthening engage- ment with ASEAN speaks to our broad-based cooperation. We have around 30 platforms for cooperation, including an annual Leaders’ Summit and seven Ministerial Dialogues. India has participated actively in ASEAN-led platforms including the ASEAN Regional Forum, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, and the East Asia Summit. With the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (AIFTA), ASEAN-India trade has risen steadily from US$2.9 billion in 1993 to US$58.4 billion in 2016. On the socio-cul- tural front, programmes like the ASEAN-India Students Exchange Programmes and the annual Delhi Dialogue foster closer people-to- people relations. Through these platforms, our youth, academics PM Narendra Modi with the ASEAN Heads of State/Governments and ASEAN Secretary General, at the ASEAN India Commemorative Summit, in New Delhi on January 25, 2018. Photo: PIB ASEAN And India: 25 Years And Beyond ACTING EAST By Lee Sien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore 10 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW APRIL-JUNE 2018