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PM to attend Asean-India Summit

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith will depart for India to attend the Asean-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi this week to mark the 25th anniversary of Asean-India Dialogue relations.
The PM’s visit to India from January 24-27 is in response to an invitation from his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
The premier and his high-level delegation will also attend a celebration event to mark the 69th anniversary of India’s National Day.
Singapore, as Asean’s Chairman, and India will co-chair the meeting, Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on its website on Friday.
The meeting will discuss progress and envision the future directions of the Asean-India Strategic Partnership in order to achieve concrete outcomes and utilise the Strategic Partnership at its utmost capacity.
Activities at the summit include a Leaders’ Retreat under the theme of “Maritime Cooperation and Security” and a Summit Plenary under the theme of “India-Asean Shared Values, Common Destiny, according to the Thai ministry.
The Leaders will adopt the “Delhi Declaration of the Asean-India Commemorative Summit to Mark the 25th Anniversary of Asean-India Dialogue Relations” as the outcome document.
The declaration reflects the Leaders’ determination to enhance Strategic Partnership between Asean and India based on the political and security, economic, and socio-cultural pillars. This document also aims to enhance connectivity, reduce development gaps, and promote stability and prosperity in the region, the Thai ministry said.
The Asean-India Trade in Goods Agreement signed in August 2009 paved the way for the creation of one of the largest Free Trade Areas, the India Mission to Asean said on its website.
The Asean-India Trade-in-Services and Investment Agreements also came into force in July 2015.
Asean-India trade for 2016-17 rebounded to US$70 billion after a period of stagnant growth due to the global slowdown in trade, according to the website.
Cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow into India from Asean between April 2000 and December 2016 amounted to US$54.97 billion.
Cumulative FDI outflows from India to Asean countries, from April 2007 to March 2015, was about US$38.67 billion.
India’s relationship with Asean has emerged as a key cornerstone of its foreign policy. The relationship has evolved from the ‘Look East Policy’ enunciated in the early 1990s which led India to become a Sectoral Partner of Asean in 1992, a Dialogue Partner in 1996, and a Summit-level Partner in 2002. This partnership was upgraded to a Strategic Partnership during the celebration of the 20th anniversary Commemorative Summit in New Delhi in 2012.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
January 23,

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