The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has urged the ASEAN nations and the International Community to support India’s fight against terrorists and terrorist organisations. Delivering the Valedictory Address at the 4th India-ASEAN Expo & Summit in New Delhi today, he said an environment of peace and security are prerequisites for trade and commerce to flourish. “This Summit must acknowledge the fact and ensure that the soil of any country should not be used for propagating terrorism,” he said.
Condemning the gruesome cowardly terrorist attack in Pulwama on 14th February on India’s brave security forces, Rajnath Singh said that there exists immense potential to strengthen and deepen cooperation in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations violent extremism and radicalization through Information sharing, Law enforcement cooperation and capacity building and Anti-money laundering and countering terror-financing.
Recalling the Delhi Declaration of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, which marked the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations, where it was agreed to deepen cooperation in combating terrorism in all its forms, the Home Minister said the 13th East Asia Summit (EAS) in November, 2018 in Singapore, also adopted the EAS Statement on Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Returnees and hoped that the cooperation between the member states will move beyond statements and towards more practical cooperation.
Speaking on the trade potential between India and the ASEAN, Rajnath Singh said that more than half of India’s foreign trade now goes to the East. The Home Minister called for increased people-to-people contact, connectivity and trade ties with the ASEAN nations. “Strengthening India’s economic relations with the countries in the East is one of the main objectives of India’s ‘Act East Policy’,” said Shri Rajnath Singh. “Our engagement with ASEAN has acquired a new dimension with our Prime Minister’s vision to ‘Act East’,” he added.
Rajnath Singh underlined that trade and investment is a key aspect of India-ASEAN partnership. “Over the past decade, trade and investment relations between India and ASEAN have continued to improve. Total bilateral trade has increased more than threefold from US$21 billion in 2005-06 to US$ 81.33 billion in 2017-18. ASEAN has emerged as the second largest trade partner of India in 2017-18, with a share of 10.58% in India’s overall trade.”