KUALA LUMPUR – The 13th ASEAN-India Summit scheduled to be held here in November is expected to adopt a new five-year joint Plan of Action (POA), which is currently being discussed, says India’s External Affairs secretary (East) Anil Wadhwa.
He said that the current five-year plan to implement ASEAN-India partnership for peace, progress and shared prosperity (2010-2015), would expire at the end of this year.
“Currently, both sides are formulating a new action plan for the next five years (2016-2020),” he told Bernama in an interview here ahead of the 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Post-Ministerial Conferences and Related Meetings, scheduled for Aug 1 to 6.
Anil said that during the meeting, the leaders would be reviewing the entire gamut of relationship between ASEAN and India and also share ideas on further enhancing bilateral relations in various areas.
According to the secretary, the leaders would also exchange views on various regional and international issues, with special focus to be given on the three pillars of the ASEAN Community (AC) during the 13th ASEAN-India Summit, which Malaysia will host as ASEAN’s chair.
The three pillars of the AC, set to be established by year-end, are ASEAN Political Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.
“We look forward to establish a stronger foundation to further deepen our strategic partnership. This time around, we are looking at joint production with ASEAN countries,” Anil said.
Bernama had earlier quoted External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as saying that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi would attend the Summit as ASEAN member countries had always been a key element in Indian foreign policy.
She said that Modi’s presence would be crucial in engaging further with the country’s partners in the region.
The last official visit by an Indian prime minister to Malaysia was in October 2010 when Dr Manmohan Singh came to Kuala Lumpur. – BERNAMA