First Ever ASEAN-India Connectivity Summit To Counteract China's One Belt One Road

| December 10 , 2017 , 11:14 IST

In a move to counteract China's controversial One Belt Bone Road (OBOR) south Asia initiative, India will be hosting the first ever ASEAN-India Connectivity Summit with help from Japan. China's OBOR has been accused of following exploitative debt financing practices.

The summit, taking place on December 11-12, will witness attendance by all 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) nations, with Vietnam and Cambodia likely to be represented at the ministerial level.

Apart from the ASEAN countries, Japan would be the only other country participating in the summit. Japan will be represented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) at the summit.

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The ASEAN-India Connectivity Summit will also focus on better digital connectivity as the government looks to align its initiative with the Asean's Master Plan on Connectivity, 2025 which is based on 5 strategic areas: sustainable infrastructure, digital innovation, seamless logistics, regulatory excellence and people mobility.

In the current geopolitical situation, Southeast Asia is pegged as the most important focal point of India's foreign policy, due to which the government is focussing on connectivity with nations in the region.

In 2015, India had proposed a $1 billion line of credit to promote projects with ASEAN that support physical and digital connectivity, and also set up a project development fund of $77 million for developing manufacturing hubs in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

India and ASEAN recently completed 25 years dialogue partnership, 15 years of summit-level interaction and five years of strategic partnership. All the leaders of the 10 ASEAN nations have also been invited for the 2018 Republic Day of India.