Sushma Swaraj in Myanmar for ASEAN meet, East Asia Summit

Last Updated: Friday, August 8, 2014 - 23:38

Nay Pyi Taw: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived here this evening on a four-day visit to attend three key multilateral forums including India-ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting, East Asia Summit, besides bilateral talks with her counterparts from China, Australia and other nations.

The ASEAN-India Ministerial meeting here tomorrow in Myanmar`s capital, is likely to push for taking the relationship to next level by expanding trade and investment and exploring new areas of cooperation.

On Sunday, Swaraj will be participating in the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the meeting of the Asean Regional Forum (ARF).

The EAS meeting is likely to focus on cooperation in the areas of energy, education, disaster management, food security and improving connectivity.

In the ARF conference, issues relating to peace and security in the region will be discussed.

Ways to combat terrorism and issues relating to South China sea may also figure in the ARF meeting.

On Monday, Swaraj will call on President of Myanmar U Thein Sein.

On the ASEAN-India meeting, officials said it will seek to further strengthen the ties in diverse areas.

There has been significant progress in ties between India and the 10-nation ASEAN grouping in the last few years in diverse sectors, particularly in trade and commerce.

The bilateral trade grew by 4.6 per cent from USD 68.4 billion in 2011 to USD 71.6 billion in 2012.

ASEAN`s exports were valued at USD 43.84 billion and imports from India amounted to USD 27.72 billion in 2012.

The target has been set at USD 100 billion by 2015 for ASEAN-India trade.

The key members of ASEAN block include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.

India and the ASEAN have already implemented a free trade agreement in goods and are set to widen its base and include services and investments.

The India-ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement was signed in August 2009 and it came into force on January 1, 2010.

Swaraj will also have bilateral meetings with her counterparts from Myanmar, China, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Canada on the margins of the multilaterals.

PTI

First Published: Friday, August 8, 2014 - 23:38

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