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Fri, 20 Jan

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Chennai

C3S - NMF One-Day International Conference on India– ASEAN Connect: Shared Values & Common Destiny

One-Day International cum Cultural Conference titled “India – ASEAN Connect: Shared Values & Common Destiny” jointly organised by the Chennai Centre for China Studies (C3S) in association with National Maritime Foundation (TN-Chapter) seeks to analyse the 3 Cs–Culture, Connectivity and Commerce with

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C3S - NMF One-Day International Conference on India– ASEAN Connect: Shared Values & Common Destiny
C3S - NMF One-Day International Conference on India– ASEAN Connect: Shared Values & Common Destiny

Time & Location

20-Jan-2023, 9:30 pm – 9:35 pm

Chennai, 120, St Mary's Road, Austin Nagar, Alwarpet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600018, India

About the event

                                                                                                          CONCEPT NOTE

The year 2022 marked the 30thanniversary of dialogue relations between ASEAN and India. The year is embarked as ‘ASEAN-India Friendship Year’. India has always hailed the deep cultural, economic, and civilizational ties that have existed between India and South East Asia from time immemorial and stated that the India-ASEAN relationship forms the central pillar of India's Act-East policy. This has now translated into a robust, strategic partnership.

India and the ASEAN countries have a long history of cultural exchange and cooperation. This relationship dates back to ancient times, when India had a significant influence on the cultures of Southeast Asia, particularly through the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism. Today, cultural ties between India and ASEAN continue to thrive, with both sides engaging in a range of activities to promote mutual understanding and cooperation.

In the 1990s, India implemented its Look East Policy, which aimed to strengthen its relationship with Southeast Asian countries. In 2014, India took this partnership a step further by introducing the Act East Policy, which aims to further enhance India's engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This policy has provided India with an opportunity to explore and strengthen its relationship with Southeast Asian countries.

On June 15, 2022 India hosted the Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to mark the 30th anniversary of its dialogue relations and the 10th anniversary of its Strategic Partnership with ASEAN. Addressing this meeting India’s EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar emphasised that the 10-nation grouping’s role is more important today given the geopolitical challenges and uncertainties faced by the world. India recognizes the ASEAN as a vital component of the regional and global multilateral order and supports ASEAN's central position in the developing Indo-Pacific region. India’s recognition of the centrality of ASEAN is in alignment with her vision of the “Indo-Pacific”. India does not view Indo-Pacific as a club of limited members but as an inclusive region.

The 3 Cs–Culture, Connectivity and Commerce– should guide India’s ties with the ASEAN bloc in the future. One area that needs improvement is the physical connectivity between India and ASEAN, particularly in terms of connecting India's north-eastern states with the rest of ASEAN. To address this, India has undertaken various connectivity projects, such as the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and the Kaladan Multimodal Project. India is also working on a Maritime Transportation Agreement with ASEAN and plans to build a railway link between New Delhi and Hanoi in Vietnam.

It is important for India to strengthen its relationships with ASEAN countries at this time, as the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the economies of the Indo-Pacific region. Building bridges with ASEAN can help to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic and foster greater collaboration and cooperation in the region. ASEAN is one of India's top trading partners, ranking fourth in terms of overall trade. In 2009, India signed a Free Trade Agreement in goods with ASEAN, and in 2014, the two sides signed an FTA in services and investments. These agreements have helped to deepen economic ties and boost trade between India and ASEAN.

India’s cultural relation with Southeast Asia is centuries old and serves as a living link between the two regions. In ASEAN countries like Cambodia, Indonesia, or Burma today, many symbolic remnants of India’s influence are clearly visible in their art, culture and civilisation. Through the centuries, India has been a source of inspiration for art and architecture in countries belonging to the present-day ASEAN. Indian religion, political thought, literature, mythology, artistic motifs and style, were absorbed deeply into local culture as greater interaction with Indians who settled in the courts of Southeast Asia took place. Buddhism came to Southeast Asia from India in 3rd century BCE when Buddhist monks were sent by king Ashoka.

India has had a significant influence on the food and flavours of Southeast Asia, as there are many shared spices between Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines. In addition, Indian herbal medicines have been used in South East Asia for centuries and continue to be popular in many countries. Given this historical and cultural connection, it is natural for India to strengthen its ties with the Southeast Asian region through its "Act East policy." By fostering closer links with ASEAN, India can build on its already strong cultural and economic presence in the region.

In light of these developments the One-Day International cum Cultural Conference titled “India – ASEAN Connect: Shared Values & Common Destiny” jointly organised by the Chennai Centre for China Studies (C3S) in association with National Maritime Foundation (TN-Chapter) seeks to analyse the 3 Cs–Culture, Connectivity and Commerce with ASEAN and its significance to Indian foreign policy, look at future trends and suggest policy options.

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