Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 24 October 2009

  1. The 7th ASEAN-India Summit chaired by H.E. Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, was held on 24 October 2009 in Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand. The meeting was attended by the Heads of State/Government of the ASEAN Member States and H.E. Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of the Republic of India.
  2. The ASEAN leaders expressed their congratulations to H.E. Dr. Manmohan Singh on his re-election as Prime Minister of the Republic of India and also expressed their conviction that his second term would further strengthen and cement the existing close partnership between ASEAN and India.
  3. We noted with satisfaction the progress of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations which has deepened and broadened over the past years and developed into a multi-faceted and dynamic partnership contributing to regional peace, mutual understanding and closer economic interaction.
  4. We appreciated India’s “Look East Policy” as reflected in her active role in various regional fora such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, East Asia Summit, Mekong-Ganga Cooperation and BIMSTEC, which help contribute to enhancing regional dialogue and accelerating regional integration.
  5. We noted with satisfaction the steady progress of implementation of the ASEAN – India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity, and agreed that a new and more enhanced phase of the Plan of Action to implement the said Partnership be launched before the next ASEAN-India Summit, in order to seize the opportunities and overcome the challenges arising from the global financial crisis and evolving political and economic landscape.
  6. We welcomed the signing of ASEAN- India Trade in Goods Agreement at the 41st ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting on 13 August this year and encourage its early implementation by January 2010. We are confident that the Agreement will allow our producers and exporters to derive full benefits from the potential of our combined markets. For our people to further reap the benefits of free trade, we entrusted our Ministers and officials to work towards the early conclusion of services and investment agreements.
  7. In view of the Trade in Goods Agreement, we agreed to revise our bilateral trade target to 70 billion USD to be achieved in the next two years, noting that the initial target of 50 billion USD set in 2007 may soon be surpassed.
  8. We encouraged the re-activation of the ASEAN-India Business Council and the ASEAN-India Business Summits in order to strengthen business networks and opportunities. In this regard, we noted that the proposal has received a positive response from the Indian business community. We therefore tasked our economic officials to work with all parties concerned so that this Council and Business Summit could be convened next year.
  9. We emphasized the need to promote connectivity in the region by completing all the missing links between South and Southeast Asia and beyond. We supported India’s vision to create an “Arc of Advantage” for our region through further integration of sea, road and rail links.
  10. In this regard, we welcomed Thailand’s continued support of the development of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, and most recently, her pledge to improve the 30 kilometre stretch from Thingannyinaung – Kawkareik which would form part of the westward link of the East -West Economic Corridor.
  11. We welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN-India Aviation Cooperation Framework at the 14th ASEAN TransportMinisters Meeting in November 2008 which would lay the foundation for closer aviation cooperation and open skies, to support business growth, tourism and greater interactions between our peoples. In this regard, we noted that an ASEAN-India Air Transport Agreement is under discussion with the implementation timeline set for 2011.
  12. The ASEAN Leaders appreciated India’s continued efforts in promoting people-to-people contacts and mutual understanding through visits to India of students, members of the media and diplomats, which help to foster ASEAN-India relations at the peoples level. As India is one of the world’s largest democracies, we also encouraged exchanges of visits of ASEAN-India parliamentarians with the involvement of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly which would also promote democratic values.
  13. The ASEAN Leaders appreciated India’s active role in promoting human resource development as a means to narrow the development gap such as establishing Entrepreneur Development Centres, Centres for English Language Training and IT Training Centres in CLMV countries which could also be extended to other ASEAN Member States. We also noted that Entrepreneurship Development Centres would enhance the potentiality of SMEs and ensure their ability to benefit from closer economic integration.
  14. We stressed the importance of cooperation in science and technology and environment as a vital factor to promote dynamic and sustainable development in the region. In this regard, we looked forward to the early operationalization of the ASEAN–India Science and Technology Fund and the ASEAN- India Green Fund in order to support cooperation in these areas. Considering recent natural calamities in the region, we suggested that India and ASEAN make use of the funds by developing, among others, a technology programme for disaster management, building upon India’s expertise in IT and space technology.
  15. We underscored the importance of cooperation and sharing of expertise in the field of pharmaceutical and health care, in view of the region’s comparative advantage and the need for greater access for all to affordable medicine. We agreed to develop low cost drugs and traditional medicines and tasked our Ministers and officials to develop a framework as appropriate for cooperation in these areas.
  16. The ASEAN Leaders also appreciated the efforts made by India in promoting cooperation in the fields of traditional medicine and ayurveda, including, among other things, through the convening of workshops and the grant of scholarships.
  17. We took note with appreciation the initiatives proposed by the Prime Minister of India as follows:
    • Establishment of an India-ASEAN round table comprising think tanks, policy makers, scholars, media and business representatives to provide policy inputs on future areas of cooperation;
    • Continuation of negotiations on open skies policy and further simplification of the visa regime to encourage business and tourism;
    • Holding an ASEAN Trade and Industrial Exhibition in India;
    • Enhancing cooperation in the agriculture sector with a view to meeting the challenges of food security; and,
    • Cooperation in space technologies including sharing of satellite data for management of natural disaster and launching of small satellites and scientific instruments and payloads for experiments in remote sensing and communication for space agencies and academic institutions.
  18. We tasked our officials and the ASEAN Secretariat to consider how to implement these initiatives as soon as possible.
  19. The ASEAN Leaders welcomed the announcement made by the Prime Minister of India to allocate, during the period of ASEAN Work Plan, US$ 50 million to the ASEAN-India Cooperation Fund and the ASEAN Development Fund in support of the above initiatives, as well as IAI programme and projects in the areas of education, energy, agriculture and forestry, small and medium enterprises, and implementation of the ASEAN ICT Master Plan.
  20. We further welcomed India’s proposal to host an ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in 2012 to mark 20 years of our dialogue relations.
  21. We reaffirmed our commitment to cooperate in addressing transboundary issues and global challenges, such as terrorism, transnational crimes, especially in the areas of drug trafficking, food and energy security, natural disasters, new and emerging infectious diseases and climate change. We also encouraged ASEAN and India to undertake activities to implement the Joint Declaration on Cooperation to Combat Terrorism.
  22. The ASEAN Leaders suggested that India as a member of G20 can play an important role in coordinating efforts between developed and emerging economies to mitigate the negative impact of the current global economic and financial crisis. India can also work with ASEAN to complement the global efforts in the reform of the international financial architecture and accelerate the early recovery of the global economy. India welcomed ASEAN participation at the London and Pittsburg G20 Summits and expressed its support for the continued participation of ASEAN Chair and Secretary-General of ASEAN at G20 Summits.

Source: http://www.15thaseansummit-th.org/PDF/25-02_7.5%20Chairman%27s%20Statement%20of%20the%207th%20ASEAN-India%20Summit.pdf