India ASEAN Relations

India ASEAN Relations – UPSC

This article deals with ‘India ASEAN Relations- UPSC.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here


  • ASEAN = Association of South East Asian Nations
  • Formed in 1967
  • Headquartered in Jakarta
  • It consist of 10 countries
India ASEAN Relations

About India-ASEAN region

It consist of

  • 25% of world population
  • Combined GDP is more than $5 trillion
  • India’s 10% trade is with ASEAN
  • ASEAN is the biggest FDI investor in India of upto $80 billion

Timeline of India-ASEAN relations

Till 1990 ASEAN region wasn’t given much importance
1990 Start of Look East Policy => ASEAN given importance in that
2002 Starts of annual Summits  meetings with ASEAN (Start of Look East 2.0)
2009 FTA in goods signed
2015 FTA in Services and Investment signed- with ASEAN minus Philippines
2018 Leaders of the 10-members of ASEAN as Chief Guests at Republic Day , an honour India bestows on strategically important countries only.
2019 India refused to sign RCEP which consist of ASEAN & 6 countries

Importance of ASEAN for India

Strategically – ASEAN nations are strategically located  at the intersections of major land and sea routes (including Strait of Malacca)
Containing China : India can allign with partners like Vietnam , Singapore etc to counterpose China
Energy – Myanmar has rich oil reserves
– Vietnam has reserves in  South China Sea => ONGC Videsh limited has invested in that region
Economy     – Trade between India and ASEAN stood at $65 billion in 2015-16 and comprises 10% of India’s total trade
– We have signed FTA in Goods and FTA in Services and Investment
– India eyes CMLV (part of ASEAN) for “Make Outisde India” initiative  
For North East India – ASEAN is very important for development of North East India
– These states can integrate with ASEAN Supply Chains
For this , following projects going on IMT Highway and Kaladan Multimodal Transit Corridor
Security Security of Indian Ocean Region(IOR) like piracy, illegal migration, and trafficking   
People to People Buddhism and Hinduism Temples like Ankorwat Tourism

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