WE, the Heads of State/Government of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Republic of India, gathered in New Delhi, India, on 20 December 2012, to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations under the theme of “ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace and Shared Prosperity”;
ACKNOWLEDGING that the civilisations of ASEAN and India have been enriched by cross cultural exchanges over several millennia, where knowledge and ideas, goods and spiritual traditions have moved seamlessly across borders, providing a strong foundation for cooperation in a globalised world;
SATISFIED with the rapid growth and progress of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations since its establishment as a sectoral dialogue partnership in 1992;
RECOGNISING the successful conclusion of the first Plan of Action for the period 2005-2010 and the implementation of the new Plan of Action for the period 2010-2015 to implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity;
APPRECIATING India’s role in ensuring regional peace and stability through India’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) in 2003 and India’s active contribution in the ASEAN+1, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus;
RECOGNISING ASEAN’s centrality and its role as the driving force of both economic and security structures and institutions currently emerging in the region, which allow for a stable and peaceful regional environment that is essential to the pursuit of sustainable development;
INSPIRED by the progress made in realising the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement, consolidation of the annual ASEAN-India Business Fair and Conclave and reactivation of the ASEAN-India Business Council, which has enhanced trade linkages and economic cooperation between ASEAN and India, as well as contributed to the economic development of the region and a robust bilateral trade volume between ASEAN and India, which has surpassed the USD 70 billion mark as targeted for 2012;
WELCOMING India’s consistent support for ASEAN integration, the ASEAN Community building process and ASEAN-India cooperation through contributions via ASEAN-India Fund (AIF), ASEAN-India Green Fund (AIGF), ASEAN-India Science & Technology Development Fund (AISTDF) as also through direct financial assistance to various research and development initiatives;
COMMITTED to working closely together on common regional and international issues of mutual concern and supporting each other’s role at the global level as well as working together to promote and strengthen inclusive and multi-track regional arrangements, including promoting the goal of open regionalism and enhancing the prospects for peace, stability and prosperity in Asia;
RECOGNISING the emergence of Delhi Dialogue as one of the premier ASEAN-centric Track 1.5 platforms for discussions on regional and international issues of mutual importance; and
CONSIDERING the work of the ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Group (AIEPG) and its Report with recommendations for forging an even closer partnership for peace, progress and shared prosperity;
HEREBY adopt the following:
1. We declare that the ASEAN-India Partnership stands elevated to a strategic partnership.
2. We will strive towards the full, effective and timely implementation of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations across the whole spectrum of political and security, economic, socio-cultural and development cooperation, through further strengthening of relevant institutional mechanisms and broadening of the network between government institutions, parliamentarians, business circles, scientists, think-tanks, media, youth and other stakeholders, for the building of a peaceful, harmonious, caring and sharing community in our regions. In this context, we will continue to support and encourage active participation of relevant stakeholders in the Delhi Dialogue.
3. We will continue to exert efforts and cooperate to effectively implement the Plan of Action to implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity (2010-2015).
4. India will support and cooperate closely with ASEAN to realise the ASEAN Community in 2015, comprising three pillars, namely, the ASEAN Political Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. To further strengthen this cooperation, we agree to establish an ASEAN-India Centre using existing capacities.
Political and Security Cooperation
5. We share the vision of a peaceful, prosperous and resurgent Asia, which contributes to and promotes global peace and security.
6. We are committed to enhancing mutual understanding and friendship through close high-level contacts and exchanges and will continue to strengthen regular bilateral and multilateral dialogue and consultation at different levels on various regional and international issues of common interest.
7. We will make use of existing ASEAN-led regional processes, such as the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus to promote defence and military exchanges and cooperation, and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to foster constructive dialogue and consultation on political and security issues.
8. We are committed to fostering greater security cooperation and information sharing in the form of regular and high-level security dialogues to further address traditional and non-traditional security challenges, including transnational crimes, and strengthening the effective implementation of the ASEAN-India Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism.
9. We are committed to strengthening cooperation to ensure maritime security and freedom of navigation, and safety of sea lanes of communication for unfettered movement of trade in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS.
10. We agree to promote maritime cooperation, including through engagement in the ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF) and its expanded format, to address common challenges on maritime issues, including sea piracy, search and rescue at sea, maritime environment, maritime security, maritime connectivity, freedom of navigation, fisheries, and other areas of cooperation.
11. In the context of economic globalisation and regional integration, we are committed to our efforts in advancing economic cooperation and engaging the emerging regional economic architecture, including organising multi-sectoral strategic economic dialogues.
12. We are committed to reaching greater trade volume through our FTA and realising our trade and economic potential under our strategic partnership by expanding trade facilitation initiatives. We are, therefore, committed to achieving a target of USD 100 billion for ASEAN-India trade by 2015, and also expect tariff-free lines to increase beyond the existing level in subsequent years.
13. We are committed to realising the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (FTA) with a combined market of almost 1.8 billion people and a combined GDP of USD 3.8 trillion. In this regard, we welcome the successful conclusion of the negotiation on ASEAN-India Trade in Services and Investment Agreements. The signing of these Agreements will facilitate further economic integration between ASEAN and India, and also contribute to the overall East Asian economic integration.
14. We are committed to promoting private sector engagement and encouraging business-to-business relations, including through establishing a necessary framework to strengthen private sector engagement and public-private partnership (PPP) linkages. Recognising the important role of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in the region, we are also committed to encouraging collaboration in the SME sector.
15. We recognise the need to ensure long-term food security and energy security in our region, and the use of appropriate technologies for this end, and in this regard, we welcome the efforts to strengthen cooperation in the agriculture sector, and cooperation among centres of energy in ASEAN and India.
16. We encourage further cooperation between ASEAN and India in support of sub-regional developments including within the frameworks of Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), Bay of Bengal Initiative for MultiSectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), Cambodia-Laos-Viet Nam Development Triangle Area (CLV-DTA), Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) and the ASEAN Mekong Basin Development Cooperation (AMBDC), and other areas.
Socio-Cultural and Development Cooperation
17. We will strengthen socio-cultural cooperation and promote greater people-to-people interaction through increasing exchanges in culture, education, youth, sports, creative industries, science and technology, information and communication technology and software, human resource development and scholarly exchanges. We will also enhance contacts between parliamentarians, media personnel, academics and Track II institutions such as the network of think tanks.
18. We encourage the study, documentation and dissemination of knowledge about the civilisational links between ASEAN and India.
19. We will intensify efforts to preserve, protect and restore symbols and structures representing civilisational bonds between ASEAN and India, including Angkor Wat in the Kingdom of Cambodia, Borobudur and Prambanan temples in the Republic of Indonesia, Wat Phu in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Bagan in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Sukhothai Historical Park in the Kingdom of Thailand, and My Son in the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
20. We are committed to working together to overcome challenges such as climate change, energy security, rapid urbanisation, natural disasters, food security, drug abuse, through both regional cooperation and participation in relevant global initiatives.
21. We are committed to enhancing cooperation in bridging the development gaps among ASEAN Member States, inter alia, through support for the effective implementation of the IAI Work Plan II (2009-2015) and the Phnom Penh Agenda for ASEAN Community Building, including enhancing capacity building, strengthening human resources development and encouraging involvement of private sector and academic institutions to contribute to the ASEAN integration and the realisation of the ASEAN Community by 2015.
22. We appreciate India’s committment to continue the special focus on the CLMV countries that represent a bridge between ASEAN and India by intensifying focus on human resource development and capacity building e-initiatives, particularly in the fields of information technology, science and technology, English language training, among others. We support India’s call to synergise efforts under the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation from the USD 1 million annual India-CLMV Fund.
23. We are committed to enhancing ASEAN Connectivity through supporting the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and the ASEAN ICT Master Plan 2015. In this regard, we encourage the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee to work closely with India’s Inter-Ministerial Group on ASEAN Transport Connectivity to enhance air, sea and land connectivity within ASEAN and between ASEAN and India, through ASEAN-India connectivity projects. We are also determined to cooperate and make the best use of all available resources, including financial and technical assistance, investment and public-private partnership to achieve physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity within ASEAN and with India.
24. We are committed to assisting in the completion of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and its extension to Lao PDR and Cambodia and the new highway project connecting India-Myanmar-Lao PDR-Viet Nam-Cambodia as well as developing the Mekong-India Economic Corridor (MIEC) connecting Southeast Asia to South Asia on the eastern part of India in order to add greater momentum to the growing trade and investment linkages between ASEAN and India.
25. We are committed to a stable and peaceful regional environment for the pursuit of sustainable development in the region. India reaffirms its continued support for ASEAN’s centrality in the evolving regional architecture, including the EAS, ARF, ADMM Plus, and other regional processes.
26. We call for the formulation of specific initiatives to achieve the objectives of this Vision Statement, which would be funded through the AIF, AIGF, and AISTDF.
Adopted in New Delhi, the Republic of India, on the Twentieth Day of December of the Year Two Thousand and Twelve.