India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Saturday advanced their relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, vowing to augment cooperation in diverse areas, including maritime, cyber security, and interoperability of digital financial systems.
Vice President of India Jagdeep Dhankhar led the Indian delegation to the Asean-India Summit held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The delegation included Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Under maritime cooperation, India and Asean will work on maritime security, countering piracy, search and rescue operations, and humanitarian assistance and disaster management. The sides will explore activities to execute the Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative, said a joint statement issued after the summit.
The other key areas under the partnership are sustainable development with the focus on new and emerging technologies for renewable energy, smart agriculture, healthcare and space, revival of tourism, activities involving youth, and regional and international issues of common concern.
The two sides committed to work for the early completion of the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway and its eastward extension to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, and explore synergies between the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and India’s connectivity initiatives under its Act East policy.