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Thailand-India Relation under the Ambit of ASEAN

Thailand-India Relation under the Ambit of ASEAN
February 23
15:35 2021

By Neelapu Shanti

Bio- Author is New Delhi Based International Affairs Researcher, writer and Indo-Afghan Analyst.

The framework of ASEAN has expanded Thailand’s engagement with India augmenting its partnership for peace, progress and shared prosperity. To transcend the realm of ASEAN’s cooperation work in political, economic, security and people-to-people contacts the initiatives remain fructifying for Thailand and India expanding to other countries also. ASEAN Action Plan, covering various sectors such as land transport, maritime transport, border management, customs, immigration, logistics and safety and Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

The India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway Project and its extension to Laos and Cambodia were one of the ongoing projects to promote greater ASEAN-India physical connectivity and is aimed to connect the ASEAN Highway Network with the highway system in eastern India. Connectivity plays an important role in building a strong foundation between the countries of the world that effectively transcends geographical and physical realms and opens prospective avenues for invigorating civilizational and people-to-people contacts.

With shared values and common interest of India-Mayanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway project aims to promote greater connectivity in the ASEAN region. The Indian Ocean connects with several ASEAN countries, namely, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. They belong to the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). IORA aim’s to promote peace, cooperation, sustainability and the blue economy.

ASEAN is the world’s seventh-largest economy and could become the fourth-largest by 2050. The volume of trade and investment flows under the framework of ASEAN has subsequently accelerated as compared to earlier figures. In 2019 bilateral trade increased at an annual rate of 11.2 per cent, from US$ 2.9 billion in 1993 to US$ 12.1 billion in 2003. The total two-way trade increased by 8.4 per cent from US$73.63 billion in 2017 to US$79.83 billion in 2018. The ASEAN-India Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation strengthens a strong foundation in establishing the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area (FTA). Thailand-India relations should strengthen in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals -2030 which also include the Mekong Ganga Cooperation. In the context of maritime security and maritime connectivity, Thailand and India cooperate for peace and prosperity in the region.

The future direction of Thailand-India relations under the framework of ASEAN sets a benchmark for significant contributions for an ever-flourishing comprehensive strategic partnership in the world.By implementing all the elements of comprehensive strategic partnership, Thailand-India relations will leap to greater height. Thailand and India should actively engage in building and shaping cooperation frameworks for peace, cooperation and development in the ASEAN region and the world.

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