Keeping with Indias initiative of connectivity with southeast Asia under its Act East Policy, New Delhi will host an Asean-India Connectivity Summit (AICS) on December 11-12 on the theme “Powering Digital and Physical Linkages for Asia in the 21st Century”, the External Affairs Ministry said on Saturday.
The event comes ahead of the visit of the leaders of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) here next month for the commemorative summit of 25 years of the India-Asean dialogue partnership.
In a historic first, the 10 leaders will collectively be the chief guests at next year’s Republic Day celebrations here. The Asean comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
According to the External Affairs Ministry statement, Road Transport, Highways, and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha, and Ministers of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar and V.K. Singh will be attending the two-day event.
From the Asean, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Phan Tam, and Cambodia’s Secretary of State in the Ministry of Public Works and Transport Tauch Chankosal will be present.
The participation of Vietnam and Cambodia assumes significance as talks are on to extend the proposed India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway to Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia as well.
According to the External Affairs Ministry statement, “the AICS aims to accelerate existing connectivity prospects, identify issues of concern, evolve suitable policy recommendations and develop strategies to enhance economic, industrial and trade relations between Asean and India”.
“Its focus areas are infrastructure, roadways, shipping, digital, finance, energy and aviation,” it said.