Swaraj to host 10th edition of Delhi Dialogue

External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj will host the 10th edition of the Delhi Dialogue (DD X) here in the national capital from July 19 to July 20. The theme of this year’s DD X will be “Strengthening India-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation.”

Delhi Dialogue is a premier annual event to discuss politico-security, the economic and socio-cultural engagement between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as per a release by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

What is Delhi Dialogue?

It is a premier annual track 1.5 event to discuss politico-security, the economic and socio-cultural engagement between India and ASEAN.

It has been held annually since 2009 and political leaders, policy makers, senior officials, diplomats, think tanks and academicians from both sides participate in the discussions pertaining to ASEAN-India relations.

It is aimed at finding a common ground and expanding the scope of cooperation between India and ASEAN nations.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand.

It was established with the signing of an ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the ministers of the founding countries.

Its founding countries are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

Eventually, Brunei Darussalam then joined on 7 January 1984, Viet Nam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999, making up to ten Member States of ASEAN.

India’s focus on a strengthened and multi-faceted relationship with ASEAN is an outcome of the significant changes in the world’s political and economic scenario since the early 1990s and India’s own march towards economic liberalization.

Apart from ASEAN, India has taken other policy initiatives in the region that involve some members of ASEAN like BIMSTEC, MGC etc. India is also an active participant in several regional forums like the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting + (ADMM+) and Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF).

The significance of India-ASEAN relations for India:

ASEAN is our fourth largest trading partner and India is their seventh largest trading partner.

The South-East Asian region is economically very vibrant; this is a vibrant economic commercial space for India.

India’s investment in the last two decades has been $70 billion. So, there is a lot of potential in engaging them further.

Many countries in the region have people of Indian origin among their citizens—most notably Malaysia and Singapore.

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