Chairman's Statement of the ASEAN-India Informal Breakfast Summit



  1. The ASEAN-India Informal Breakfast Summit was held in Singapore on 15 November 2018. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, and attended by all Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States and H.E. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India. The Secretary-General of ASEAN was also in attendance.



  2. We warmly recalled the successful convening of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi under the theme “Shared Values, Common Destiny” on 25 January 2018, as well as various commemorative activities held in ASEAN Member States and India to deepen our people-to-people ties. We encouraged both sides to continue the implementation of the Delhi Declaration to further enhance the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership and contribute to the promotion of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.


  3. ASEAN Leaders expressed appreciation for India’s continued support for ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture through India’s active participation and positive contribution to ASEAN-led mechanisms, including the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus). We agreed to continue utilising these mechanisms to effectively respond to traditional and non-traditional security challenges.



  4. We agreed to deepen cooperation in countering terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation through the sharing of best practices and information, law enforcement, and capacity-building under existing ASEAN-led mechanisms. We also agreed to strengthen cooperation on cybersecurity capacity-building, policy coordination and confidence building measures, including through supporting the implementation of the ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy and ARF Work Plan on Security of and in the Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).


  5. Noting that India was ASEAN’s sixth largest trading partner in 2017, we stressed the need to fully tap the potential offered by the vast markets of ASEAN and India through the effective implementation of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area, and the operationalisation of the ASEAN-India Trade and Investment Centre. We welcomed the substantial progress made in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2018. We noted with satisfaction that the RCEP negotiations have advanced to the final stage, and we expressed our determination to conclude a modern, comprehensive, high quality, and mutually beneficial RCEP in 2019. We also expressed our commitment to uphold a global trade environment that is open, mutually beneficial, rules-based and inclusive through the RCEP. In this regard, we also welcomed the completion of the ratification process of the Agreement on Trade in Services under the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between the ASEAN and the Republic of India and looked forward to the effective implementation of the Agreement by all Parties.



  6. We also underscored the importance of deepening ASEAN-India connectivity cooperation in line with the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, and agreed to strengthen cooperation in the areas of land, air and maritime connectivity. We looked forward to the expeditious conclusion of the ASEAN-India Air Transport Agreement and the ASEAN-India Maritime Transport Agreement, as well as the early completion of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway Project and its extension to Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam. We welcomed India’s proposal for a study by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia on developing an economic corridor along the Trilateral Highway and the feasibility of its extension to Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam.


  7. ASEAN Leaders welcomed India’s support in narrowing the development gap among ASEAN Member States through various capacity-building programmes under the Initiative for ASEAN Integration, and looked forward to India’s continued commitment.



  8. ASEAN Leaders also lauded India’s commitment to strengthen ASEAN-India people-to-people ties, including through the 2nd ASEAN-India Youth Summit, the ASEAN-India Students Exchange Programmes, scholarship programmes for CLMV students, the Special Course for ASEAN Diplomats, and the ASEAN-India Media Exchange Programme. We also welcomed the continued engagement between ASEAN and India in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, biodiversity, science and technology, agriculture and forestry, tourism, youth and culture, and educational and vocational training exchanges, including on ICT and innovation.


  9. We reaffirmed our commitment to strengthen ASEAN-India maritime cooperation through existing ASEAN-led mechanisms, including the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), to address common challenges on maritime issues. We underscored the importance of working together to prevent and manage accidents and incidents at sea and promote effective ASEAN-India coordination in maritime search and rescue, in accordance with existing processes and practices, including those of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO), as well as encouraged increased engagement among research institutions on maritime issues and collaboration on maritime education, research, development and innovation. We also noted the successful convening of the 2nd ASEAN-India Workshop on Blue Economy in New Delhi on 18 July 2018, and looked forward to further iterations of this Workshop to further explore the potential for ASEAN-India cooperation in this area.



  10. We also had a free-flowing discussion on regional and international issues of common interest and concern, including terrorism and violent extremism, cybersecurity, the South China Sea, cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, and the global economy. We welcomed the strengthening of maritime cooperation and connectivity in the region. We noted India’s vision of security and growth for all in the Indo-Pacific. We discussed the importance of promoting a rules-based order in the region, including through upholding international law such as the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea, and recognised the benefits of having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity.


  11. We reaffirmed our commitment to further deepen and strengthen the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership for mutual benefit, across the political-security, economic and socio-cultural pillars, and to work towards the full, effective and timely implementation of the Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity (2016-2020).



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