Consultations with ASEAN Think Tanks on

ASEAN - India Vision 2020

The Second ASEAN-India Summit held in Bali in October 2003 endorsed the idea of a network of Think-Tanks from India and ASEAN preparing a ASEAN-India Vision 2020 paper to provide a long-term vision and road map for the evolving India-ASEAN partnership. RIS had been assigned by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to coordinate this Network and prepare the Vision Paper in consultation with the think-tanks from the ASEAN countries to be adopted at the third ASEAN-India Summit in Laos.

RIS organized a high-level Meeting of ASEAN Think-Tanks in New Delhi on 4-5 March to finalize the draft "ASEAN-India Vision 2020: Working Together for Shared Prosperity" with ASEAN inputs. This Meeting was attended by heads or senior representatives of the ASEAN Think-tanks associated with ASEAN-ISIS network and other policy institutions. RIS had held extensive consultations with think-tanks and other stakeholders within the country in the course of preparation of the Draft paper (RIS Diary, October 2003, and January 2004.)

Ambassador S.T. Devare, Vice-Chairman, RIS welcomed the delegates from ASEAN countries to the Meeting. Mr Rajiv Sikri, Special Secretary (ER), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India made opening remarks at the inaugural session.

The Meeting covered five sessions: "ASEAN-India Vision 2020 Broad Contours", chaired by Ambassador S.T. Devare; "Roadmap for ASEAN-India Economic Cooperation: Trade, Investment, Monetary and Finance", chaired by Dr Chookiat Panaspornprasit, Director, Institute of Security and International Studies, Thailand; "Transport, Infrastructure and Energy", chaired by Ms Nguyen Thu Huong, Deputy Director, Institute of International Relations, Vietnam; "Science and Technology, Exchange of Development Experience, HRD, Pharma, Agriculture, and SMEs; chaired by Mr. Bounnheuang Songnavong, Deputy Director, Institute of Foreign Affairs, Lao PDR; and "Tourism and Culture, People-to-People Contacts and Coordination in International Negotiations", chaired by Ms Felia Salim, Member of Board of Governors of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta. The final section to adopt the revised version of the draft vision paper was chaired by Ambassador Devare on 5 March.

The ASEAN Think-Tanks represented at the Meeting from the ASEAN countries included: Institute of International Relations, Vietnam; Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Indonesia; University Brunei Darussalam; The Institute of Security and International Studies, Thailand; Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia; Asia Centre, University of the Philippines; Institute of Strategy and Development Studies, Philippines; Singapore Institute of International Affairs; Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore; Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, Cambodia; Institute of Foreign Affairs, Lao, PDR; besides officials of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the local Missions. RIS proposes to keep the Network of ASEAN-India Think-Tanks, thus evolved, active by regular interactions.