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Asean, dialogue partners push for greater connectivity, joint vaccine production

Asean and Indian leaders have agreed to broaden cooperation to expand infrastructure connectivity in order to facilitate trade, investment and more reciprocal visits by their citizens.
The leaders reached the agreement at the 18th Asean-India Summit on October 28, held as a sideline to the three-day 38th and 39th Asean Summits and related meetings which ended that day. Chaired by Somdech Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, which holds the Asean Chair for 2021, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the meeting underscored the need to realise the Asean Connectivity 2025 master plan.

Leaders agreed to push for the building of an expressway linking India to Myanmar and Thailand, leading towards connections with Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
The meeting also endorsed the Asean-India joint declaration on Indo-Pacific for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
The meeting noted the progress made in fulfilling the Asean-India Plan of Action for 2021-2025 and other cooperation frameworks agreed upon, especially joint efforts to combat the Covid-19 outbreak. Leaders agreed to continue to work together in various areas of cooperation, particularly the effort to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, economic recovery, and digital economy transformation.
Asean leaders thanked India for its contribution to narrowing the development gap among Asean nations.
On the same day, Asean and Russian leaders convened the fourth Asean-Russia Summit, which marked their 30th anniversary as dialogue partners.
Leaders agreed to broaden cooperation in key sectors, especially health, including the provision of vaccine by Russia to Asean member countries.
The two sides also agreed to cooperate and take part in the research and production of vaccines.
The meeting spoke highly of the relations and cooperation between Asean and Russia over the past three decades. Leaders noted the progress made in implementing the Asean-Russia plan of action for 2016-2020, which covers the three pillars of - political security, economy, and socio-culture.
Meeting participants agreed to strengthen cooperation in trade and investment. The meeting endorsed the new Asean-Russia plan of action for 2021-2025 and activities to mark their 30th anniversary as dialogue partners.
Leaders also endorsed the Asian-Russia joint declaration on building a region of security and sustainability as well as the Asean-Russia joint declaration on cooperation to combat the trade in narcotic drugs.
At the closing of the summits, Brunei handed the Asean Chair for 2022 to Cambodia under the theme ‘Asean Act: Addressing Challenges Together’.

By Times Reporters
 (Latest Update October 29, 2021)

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