India seeks to boost cooperation with eastern nations
Updated : Monday, March 19, 2018 2:52 PM (GMT+0700)

Measuresto promote cooperation between India’s eastern and northeastern regions andeastern countries were discussed at a workshop in Odisha state, India, fromMarch 16-18. 

Participants at the workshop - Source: VNA

Held by the KalingaInternational Foundation (KIF), the event brought together officials andscholars of India and 16 countries, including Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, thePhilippines, and Myanmar. 

Participants focused theirdiscussion on how to boost economic, culture, tourism and energy cooperation;maritime and security connection in Indian Ocean – Pacific Ocean; and regionalconnectivity. 

In his opening remark,Minister of Petroleum, Skill Development and Business Dharmendra Pradhan hopedthe workshop would help explore common interests of the parties, thus promotingdialogues for their future cooperation. 

Meanwhile, KIF ChairmanLalit Mansingh said with the central role in the “Act East” policy of theIndian Government, the eastern and northeastern regions will become partners offriendly neighbouring eastern nations such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, SriLanka, member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australiaand Japan. 

Addressing the seminar,Vietnamese Ambassador Ton Sinh Thanh highlighted the significance of the eventas it was organised at the time that India is promoting the implementation ofits “Act East” policy, and economic cooperation between the eastern andnortheastern regions with eastern countries. 

There is great prospect forcooperation among India’s northeastern regions regions and eastern nationsthanks to similarities in culture; geographical proximity; their traditionalties; their determination to boost economic ties; as well as dynamicdevelopment of both ASEAN and India, he stressed.  

The diplomat reviewed theASEAN-India economic cooperation in the last decade, saying that it has reapedremarkable advance. 

Two-way trade has doubled,hitting 76 billion USD in 2017, he said, expressed his belief that the tradebetween the two side will continuously develop in the future. 

ASEAN is the fourth largesttrade partner of India, while India ranks seventh among ASEAN’s trade partners.The ASEAN-India investment cooperation also witnessed stable growth in recentyears. Investment from ASEAN to India hit over 70 billion USD in the last 17years, accounting for over 17 percent of the country’s total foreign directinvestment (FDI). 

Ambassador Thanh pointed outchallenges facing the economic links between the two sides, stressing that thetwo sides need to make more efforts in improving infrastructure and enhancinglinks, and work closely to maintain peace, security in the Indian Ocean –Pacific Ocean.


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