NEW DELHI, Dec 11 - India today said that connectivity is central to India-ASEAN relations.
Addressing the India-ASEAN Connectivity Summit, Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar said that on the physical connectivity front, India has undertaken a number of international corridor projects such as the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and Kaladan Multi-Modal Project that will serve as the land as well as sea bridge between Northeast India and the ASEAN region.
�While the road component is progressing apace, maritime connectivity, the mainstay of our historical trade relations, requires urgent modernisation in the context of current geopolitical realities,� he said.
The summit reflects India�s strong commitment to work together with all the stakeholders to enhance connectivity in India and with ASEAN and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
�Our connectivity initiatives spanning across physical and digital projects are tailored to complement the strategic areas of Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025, especially sustainable infrastructure, digital innovation, seamless logistics, regulatory excellence and people mobility. The session on �ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan: Harnessing Opportunities� would seek to carry forward the conversation on how India as a stakeholder and a dialogue partner can collaborate with the ASEAN in harnessing the opportunities inherent in the MPAC 2025,� Akbar said.
�Connectivity will address investment opportunities in ASEAN-India Islands Connectivity and discuss the challenges that need to be addressed in order to sustain the progress... The sessions of this summit are well paced and structured, addressing both contemporary as well as emerging issues on the discourse on connectivity,� the minister said.
�We are actively exploring signing the ASEAN-India Maritime Transport Cooperation Agreement. This agreement will help both India and ASEAN to further cooperate and communicate with each other, eliminate barriers hindering maritime transport, and establish regional maritime transport framework system with the aim to promote maritime transport facilitation between ASEAN and India, and beyond,� Akbar said.