1. The First Meeting of the ASEAN-India Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee was held in Bali, Indonesia on 7-8 January 1994.
2. The Meeting was attended on the ASEAN side by H.E. Dato’ Ajit Singh, Secretary-General of ASEAN; H.E. Dato Paduka Haji Mohd. Adnan bin Buntar, Director-General, ASEAN-Brunei Darussalam; H.E. Mr. Rahardjo Jamtomo, Director Generdi, ASEAN-Indonesia; H.E.Mr. Hasmy Agam, Director-General,ASEAN-Malaysia; H.E. Mr. Jose P. Del Rosario, Jr., Deputy Director-General, ASEAN-Philippines; H.E. Mr. Wong Kwok Pun, Director-General, ASEAN-Singapore; H.E. Mr. Siriwat Suthigasame, Deputy Director-General, ASEAN-Thailand; H.E. Mr. Lam Peck Heng, the Chairman of the ASEAN-New Delhi Committee and their respective delegations together with the representatives of the ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC).
3. The Indian delegation was led by H.E. Shri J.N. Dixit, Foreign Secretary of the Republic of India and included Shri K. Srinivasan, Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA); Shri P.M.S. Malik, Additional Secretary, MEA; Shri S. Ghose, Joint Secretary, Department of Science and Technology; Smt. Naverkha Sharma, CDA, Embassy of India, Jakarta; Shri Lalit Sharma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce; Dr S.K. Sharma, Joint Secretary (South), MEA and Smt. L. Puri, Joint Secretary, Economic and MER Division, MEA.
4. The Meeting was co-chaired by H. E. Dato’ Ajit Singh, Secretary-General, ASEAN and H.E. Shri J.N. Dixit, Foreign Secretary of India.
5. In their opening remarks, Dato’ Ajit Singh, Secretary-General of ASEAN and.H.E. Shri J.N. Dixit, the Indian Foreign Secretary emphasized the importance of the development of the ASEAN-India Sectoral Dialogue and expressed the sincere commitment of ASEAN and India to strengthen cooperation through this relationship in the agreed sectors of trade, investment, tourism and science and technology.
6. In his opening statement, Dato’ Ajit Singh highlighted the growing contacts between ASEAN and India at the highest levels of government and among officials, businessmen and entrepreneurs, pointing out to a heightened awareness of the immense potential for enhancement of trade and economic cooperation between ASEAN and India as a result of lndia’s economic liberalisation. He outlined the progress of the implementation of ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) Agreement through the Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) Scheme and pointed out that AFTA’s coming on-stream and its realisation of the vision of an enlarged and more integrated regional market held greater promise for the ASEAN-India Sectoral Dialogue and made the deliberations of the Sectoral Committee more relevant. He expressed satisfaction that this meeting would mark the putting in place of the basic structures for intensified ASEAN-India cooperation-ASEAN-India Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee (AIJSCC), ASEAN New Delhi Committee(ANDC) and ASEAN-India Business Council(AIBC). The importance of private sector participation in the Sectoral Dialogue was also emphasised.
7. The Foreign Secretary of India, on his part, stressed that the Sectoral Dialogue, in the context of the ongoing and irreversible trade and economic liberalization of India and lndia’s large and growing market would facilitate a quantum leap in Indo-ASEAN cooperation. The increasing convergence of trade and investment policies of India and ASEAN provided a new basis for cooperation deriving from their existing and potential complementarities with regard to commodities, manufactures and services. Regular and wide-ranging interaction at the governmental, business and expert levels as part of institutional interface was essential for stimulating trade and investment flows, joint ventures, tourism and scientific and technological linkages. It was particularly gratifying that science and technology had been added on as an additional sector for cooperation under the Sectoral Dialogue. He affirmed that, in increasing economic interaction between India and ASEAN, the governments were enabling factors and that the real actors were the entrepreneurs in trade and industry to whom maximum cooperation should be extended by the Committee.
8. The Meeting adopted the Rules of Procedure and Terms of Reference of the ASEAN-India Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee (AIJSCC) thus marking the formal establishment of the AIJSCC. The role of the AIJSCC is to facilitate the ASEAN-India Sectoral Dialogue Relations in the areas of trade, investment, tourism and science and technology.
9. The Meeting also adopted the Rules of Procedure and Terms of Reference of the Joint Management Committee for the ASEAN-India Fund which will disburse funds for programmes and projects approved by the AIJSCC.
10. Members of the private sector from both ASEAN and India attended the First AIJSCC Meeting and held their own preliminary meeting. At that Meeting they proposed the framework for the establishment of an ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC). In the Council, ASEAN will be represented by the ASEAN Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASEAN-CCi) and India will be represented by the India ASEAN Economic Cooperation Committee (IAECC). The First AIJSCC Meeting agreed that the AIBC representatives would participate fully in future AIJSCC meetings.
11. The Meeting discussed the possible areas of cooperation and joint collaborations between the two sides under the designated areas of the Sectoral Dialogue of trade, investment, tourism and science and technology. In the area of trade and investment, they agreed that efforts would be focused on programmes and projects with a view to substantially expanding trade between ASEAN and India. These will cover the areas of trade liberalisation, facilitation and promotion. The desirability of India-ASEAN joint ventures in a number of designated areas including infrastructure development and investment as well as areas of high technology for ASEAN-India and third country markets was underlined.
12. It was agreed that a Group of Experts from ASEAN and India would be established to identify the mechanisms, modalities and areas of trade and investment cooperation between ASEAN and India taking into account elements that were discussed.
13. In addition to the activities to be funded by the ASEAN-India Fund, India offered training modules in designated areas of interest to ASEAN and specific projects within the framework of its India Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme.
14. In the area of tourism it was agreed that there would be cooperation in the promotion of tourist destinations; between travel trade-tour operators, travel agents, air charter operators and airlines; in the hotel industry and in the related development of human resources.
15. In the area of science and technology, joint workshops have been proposed to bring together ASEAN and Indian scientists and technologists to identify specific topics and types of activities for collaboration particularly in the areas of advanced materials, biotechnology and information technology. Collaboration would also encompass other areas such as non-conventional energy sources, robotics, fibre optics and laser technology, the engineering industry, machinery and machine tools, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and related products. India also invited ASEAN scientists and experts to visit research and development centres for an exchange of ideas and possible collaboration in R & D. In addition, India offered ASEAN twelve scholarships in science and technology.
16. The Meeting agreed that the Second Meeting of the AIJSCC be held in India at date to be mutually agreed upon.