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Delhi Dialogue VIII: ASEAN-India Relations: A New Paradigm

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  • February 17, 2016 to February 19, 2016

    Concept Note

    Delhi Dialogue is an annual Track 1.5 forum for discussing politico-security, economic and socio-cultural issues between ASEAN and India. Since 2009 when the conference was first held, Delhi Dialogue has emerged as an important forum at which political leaders, policy makers, researchers, academicians, business leaders and media persons converge for brainstorming on a range of issues pertaining to ASEAN-India relations.

    The ASEAN-India relationship is one of the cornerstones of India’s foreign policy and Act East policy, which has deepened across the three pillars of politico-security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation. The recently concluded 13th ASEAN-India Summit and 10th East Asia Summit in November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, have defined a dynamic trajectory for ASEAN-India relations. The formalization of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) would also need a new approach towards India’s engagement with ASEAN.

    Keeping this context in mind and as India moves towards completing 25 years of its dialogue relationship with the ASEAN region, Delhi Dialogue VIII is appropriately themed “ASEAN-India Relations: A New Paradigm”.

    The key themes of ASEAN-India relationship today will be highlighted in the Inaugural Session and its two panel discussions (with Indian and South East Asian leaders participating) relating to Connectivity and ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

    Delhi Dialogue VIII will also provide a larger canvas for the business leaders and the business community of both sides to share their vision for a more robust economic engagement between ASEAN and India.

    Day 1: 17 February 2016 -Business Session

    Plenary Session I: Co-Manufacturing: Creating Manufacturing Value Chains (FICCI)

    There is a renewed focus on the manufacturing sector in India, especially with introduction of the “Make in India” initiative. India and ASEAN have immense potential in terms of creating regional value chains that act as a driver for regional economic integration. The ASEAN-India FTA which was initially limited to trade in goods has been expanded to include the agreement on trade in services and investment with effect from 1 July 2015. Manufacturers and businesses, both in India and ASEAN, are yet to fully capitalize on the existence of this Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. This session would discuss the nuances of co-manufacturing within India and ASEAN, with particular focus on identification of goods, services and FDI sectors with complementarities between India and ASEAN. It would also identify barriers to co-manufacturing and suggest ways to surmount them.

    Plenary Session II: What Do Mega Trade Blocs-RCEP and TPP Mean for ASEAN and India? (CII)

    Ongoing negotiations for regional trading agreements involving ASEAN member states including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to alter the regional trade architecture. Responding to the emergent institutional architectures require greater strategic planning and implementation. This Session would examine how the FTA between ASEAN and India would be impacted under the broader RCEP and TPP frameworks and offer a blueprint of how Indian and ASEAN Trade and Commerce entities should calibrate their market strategy and manage internal reforms in order to be able to take maximum benefit from these emerging trade blocs.

    Plenary Session III: Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy for Realizing India ASEAN Economic Integration (ASSOCHAM)

    At the 13th ASEAN-India Summit on 21 November, Prime Minister, Shri. Narendra Modi, had invited ASEAN member states to participate in the launch and also to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) of 122 solar-rich countries. In the backdrop of the launch of this alliance on 30 November in Paris, amidst global climate change concerns, the need for developing and using sustainable energy is acutely felt. This session would explore the potential of co-production of renewable energy (wind power, solar power, biomass, hydropower, biofuels, etc.) and use of clean technology, a broad base of processes, practices and tools, in any industry that supports a sustainable business approach, including but not limited to pollution control, resource reduction and management, end of life strategy, waste reduction, energy efficiency, carbon mitigation and profitability.

    Plenary Session IV: Promoting Cross Border Trade with ASEAN: Capitalising on Comparative Advantage (ICC)

    Both India and ASEAN have sectors with significant competitive edge including energy, transport and logistics from the view of ASEAN’s investment into India and engineering services, education and tourism services for Indian investment in ASEAN. The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community is another milestone in the regional economic integration agenda of ASEAN. The Session would cover several aspects of ASEAN-India trade and investment relations, identify new frontiers in trade and investment, and discuss the way ahead for enhanced trade and investment cooperation between ASEAN and India.

    Plenary Session V: ASEAN-India Cooperation in Start-ups (AIAI)

    India and ASEAN are seen as new growth areas for start-ups. ASEAN is one of the most diverse and competitive regions in the world with countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand attracting multinationals. ASEAN has become a launch pad for start-ups, the region now accounts for 38% of Asia’s market for initial public offerings. Indian start-ups are growing rapidly and India is home to more than 5,000 start-ups across all verticals of the industry involving technology companies and other sectors. The session aims to frame the broad contours of an ASEAN-India ecosystem to facilitate the convergence of technology, integration across diverse fields, distributed architecture and people willing to back an idea. The discussions in this session would deliberate upon Start-up Funding; Understanding the Market for a Start-up / Branding and Marketing; ASEAN-India Digital Future; Role of State and Regional Governments and Policies and Initiatives for encouraging start-ups.

    Day 2: 18 February 2016 -Ministerial Session

    The Ministerial Session will be attended by EAM, Foreign Ministers of ASEAN countries and Chief Ministers of North Eastern States of India. It will include speeches and two panel discussions; viz. (i) Connectivity: Creating Pathways to a Shared Future; and (ii) ASEAN Economic Community and India: Building Regional Value Chains.

    Panel Discussion I: Connectivity: Creating Pathways to a Shared Future

    Connectivity is the focal point in the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership. With completion of the Motor Vehicle Agreement negotiation, implementation of India -Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway has progressed further, thereby bringing the two regions much closer to each other with the North Eastern region as the pivot. The panel comprising Heads of Delegation from ASEAN countries and the Chief Ministers of North Eastern States of India would deliberate upon:

    1. Land Connectivity
    2. Air Connectivity
    3. Maritime Connectivity: a more cooperative and integrated future for the region through overall development of the ocean-based Blue economy.
    4. Role of public-private sector participation (PPP) in connectivity projects and creation of economic corridors to leverage physical connectivity.
    5. Digital connectivity.

    Panel Discussion II: ASEAN Economic Community and India: Integrating Regional Value Chains and Production Networks

    To integrate ASEAN and India fully into the global economy, enhanced participation in global supply networks as well as stronger value chains between them is crucial. To effectively utilize the mega regional trade agreement such as RCEP, a connected ASEAN with India in terms of value chains therefore holds utmost significance. This Session will be attended by senior leaders of ASEAN member states and India, who would attempt to identify the challenges for ASEAN and India in integrating with regional and global value chains for creating sustainable production activities, technology intensive manufacturing and knowledge intensive services. The session would also examine how to create value chains by nurturing physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity and the ways ASEAN member states, especially the CLMV countries, would benefit from the integration of India into South East Asian value chains.

    Vote of Thanks by Mr Jayant Prasad, DG, IDSA

    Day 3: 19th February 2016 -Academic Session

    The Academic Session will focus on themes ranging from ASEAN-India and the Security of the Asia-Pacific, including the threat from extremism; the Ocean Economy Dynamics; Reinvigorating the Civilisational Links; and the Way Forward for ASEAN-India Relations.

    Time Session
    0900 hrs Registration

    Venue: Auditorium, IDSA
    0930-0935 hrs Welcome Remarks by Mr Jayant Prasad, DG, IDSA

    0935-0950 hrs Keynote Address by Secretary (East), MEA, Government of India

    1000-1130 hrs ASEAN and the Security of the Asia Pacific

    Chair: Shri Nalin Surie, Director General, Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi


    • HRH Norodom Sirivudh, Member of the Constitutional Council, Privy Counselor to His Majesty, the King of Cambodia
    • Amb. Navrekha Sharma, Former Indian Ambassador to the Philippines and Indonesia and Veteran Writer and Scholar
    • Prof. Renato Cruz De Castro, International Studies Department, De La Salle University, Manila
    • Bunn Sri na Nagara, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy and Security Studies, Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    1130 -1145 hrs Tea Break

    1145-1315 hrs ASEAN-India and the Ocean Economy Dynamics

    Chair: Prof. Hidetoshi Nishimura, founding President of Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), Jakarta


    • Amb. Yogendra Kumar, Former Indian Ambassador to Indonesia and Veteran Writer and Scholar
    • Dr. Joefe B. Santarita, Dean and Associate Professor, Asian Center, University of the Philippines.
    • Dr Girish Gujar, Visiting Lecturer, Department of Logistics and Maritime Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    1315-1415 hrs Lunch
    1415-1545 hrs Reinvigorating the Civilizational Links

    Chair: Amb. Shyam Saran, Chairman, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi.

    • Prof. Himanshu Prabha Ray, Former Chairperson, National Monuments Authority, Ministry of Culture, New Delhi
    • Mr. Eddin Khoo, Founder Director of Pusaka Foundation, Malaysia
    • Prof. Baladas Ghoshal, Secretary General and Director (Academic), Society for Indian Ocean Studies (SIOS), New Delhi
    • Mr. Sachidanand Sahai, Advisor, Preah Vihear National Authority, Royal Government of Cambodia, & UNESCO Expert for the Archaeological Complex of Sambor Prei Kuk, Cambodia
    1545-1600 hrs Tea/Coffee break
    1600-1700 hrs Way Forward: Towards 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Relations

    Chair: Amb. Gopinath Pillai, Ambassador-at-large for the Government of Singapore and chairman of Management Board of the Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore


    • Prof. Nguyen Thai Yen Huong, Senior Research Fellow, Vice President, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV)
    • Mr. R Ravindran, Chairman, SAEA Research Group, Singapore.
    • Amb. Rajiv Bhatia, Former Director General, ICWA, New Delhi
    • Dr Gopa Sabharwal, Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University
    • Prof. Prabir De, Coordinator, ASEAN-India Centre at RIS, New Delhi
    • Dr. Yang Peou, Senior Researcher and Permanent Secretary, International Relations Institute of Cambodia (IRIC), Phnom Penh (TBC)
    1700-1710 hrs Vote of Thanks by Dr Udai Bhanu Singh, Senior Research Associate, IDSA

    Participation in the Business and Ministerial Sessions on 17 and 18 February 2016 respectively is STRICTLY BY INVITATION ONLY. The Academic Session on 19 February 2016 is open to all. Desirous participants other than Members and Associate Members of IDSA may register at the Reception Desk at IDSA from 0900 hours on 19 February 2016.