India and ASEAN have resolved to strengthen ties by deepening cooperation in the maritime sector and boosting connectivity. The two sides made the affirmations at the 21st ASEAN-India Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) held here on April 11-12, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
The meeting was co-chaired by Vijay Thakur Singh, SOM Leader and Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, and Busaya Mathelin, SOM Leader and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand. The ASEAN-India SOM reviewed the strategic partnership and its future direction.
It assessed the progress of cooperation under all three pillars -- political-security, economic and socio-cultural, the MEA said. The SOM leaders also exchanged views on regional and international issues of interest to ASEAN and India.
They agreed to deepen maritime cooperation as decided at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit 2018. In this context, they proposed to undertake a variety of measures, including enhanced cooperation in the sub-sector of Blue Economy, the MEA said. It was decided at the meeting to give an impetus to ASEAN-India connectivity in all its forms.
The two sides also discussed the ways and means to further deepen cooperation on financial matters as well as an overall strengthening of the ASEAN Secretariat. The two sides also vowed to step up cooperation in renewable energy and hold an ASEAN-India Conference on Renewable Energy in 2019. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) would be the co-partners for this project. The ASEAN-India partnership is being implemented through the "Plan of Action (2016-20) to implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for peace, progress and shared prosperity".
(With inputs from agencies.)