JAKARTA, 26 January 2002: The Fourth Meeting of the ASEAN-India Joint Cooperation Committee was held on 25-26 January 2002 in Kuala Lumpur. The Meeting was co-chaired by Mr Kamal Ismaun, Director-General ASEAN-Malaysia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia and Mr. Shashank, Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, India.

In his opening statement, Mr Kamal stated that the ASEAN-India partnership had clearly underlined the belief that both sides have in pursuing a winning relationship and the elevation of the ASEAN-India Dialogue to the Summit level as a major step forward and one that emphasised the faith and confidence that ASEAN had in the enormous potential of an enhanced partnership with India. In his response, Mr. Shashank welcomed the ASEAN Summit’s decision and underscored that this reinforced ASEAN’s role as the principal engine of growth and cooperative regionalism in Southeast Asia. He stated India’s desire to develop a multi-faceted relationship with ASEAN moving on the four wheels of security, economy, culture and science and technology, including information technology.

The Meeting exchanged views on the economic outlook of ASEAN and India. ASEAN also briefed India on the key outcomes of the 7th ASEAN Summit held on 5-6 November 2001 in Brunei Darussalam.

ASEAN and India reviewed their ongoing cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, science and technology, human resources development, tourism, and people-to-people interaction. Both sides agreed to further strengthen cooperation in these areas by taking appropriate measures and approaches, and adopting mechanisms to move the ASEAN-India partnership to a higher level. ASEAN and India agreed to actively pursue cooperation in the areas of health and pharmaceuticals, transport and infrastructure, and combating transnational crime.

Recognising the relatively low level of trade and investment flows between them, ASEAN and India welcomed the soon to be finalised Joint Study on AFTA-India Linkages for the Enhancement of Trade and Investment, which would serve as an important reference document for improving trade and investment ties.

India agreed to host the ASEAN’s contemporary dance presentation “Realising Rama” in November 2002. The dance troupe will be performing in several Indian cities. “Realising Rama” is a full-length dance presentation based on the great India epic Ramayana. The production is a collaborative, creative effort by some of ASEAN’s leading artists and performed by a group of 22 dancers froms the ten member countries.

The Fifth Meeting of the ASEAN-India Cooperation Committee will take place in India in the first quarter of 2003.

For further information, please contact:

Dato’ Ahmad Mokhtar Selat,

Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN

Contact numbers:

6-03-21418000 Room 1222 (Regent Hotel, Kuala Lumpur)

62-21-7262991 Ext 388 (ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta)

e-mail: mokhtar@aseansec.org