Pune, 19 August 2023 :- India ASEAN Trade Meet was celebrated on the 18th of August in Hotel Sheraton Grand by the Indian ASEAN Trade Council in Pune with the collaboration and support of the Ambassador of Myanmar H.E. Mr. Moe Kyaw Aung and Ambassador of Laos H.E. Mr. Bounmy Vanmany, the Honorary Counsel of Myanmar Honorable Dr. Ranganathan, Chairman Pushkaraj Enterprises Mr. Shailendra Goswami to accelerate the trade relationships between India and ASEAN nations. The event also saw the presence of the Global President of the Indian Economic Trade Organization, Dr. Asif Iqbal and various other delegates. The Trade Commissioner, Dr. Sachin Madhukar Kate was commissioned in presence of all dignitaries to promote better relations between India and ASEAN.
In a resounding testament to the enduring historical and cultural bonds between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), both regions continue to fortify their multifaceted partnership. Bolstered by agreements such as the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA), both sides are steadfastly committed to augmenting trade and investment relations. These agreements effectively reduce trade barriers and tariffs, fostering an environment conducive to enhanced commerce and investment flows. To further expedite cross-border trade and connectivity, visionary initiatives such as the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project are materializing. accentuating the intent to forge an integrated economic landscape.
In a notable display of commitment to fostering robust bilateral ties, His Excellency Mr. Moe Kyaw Aung, Ambassador of Myanmar, and His Excellency Mr. Bounmy Vanmany, Ambassador of Laos, graced the India ASEAN Trade Summit virtually. The occasion also witnessed the auspicious inauguration of the India ASEAN Trade Council office in Pune. The presence of Dr. Ranganathan, Honorary Counsel of Myanmar, added prestige to the inaugural ceremony. This newly established office is poised to play a pivotal role in facilitating trade activities, providing invaluable assistance to Indian exporters and companies based in Pune and Maharashtra, as they seek to venture into ASEAN nations. Exciting prospects lie ahead, as a substantial ASEAN delegation gears up for a momentous visit to Cambodia in September, followed by Singapore in October. A multisectoral delegation from Malaysia is slated to grace Pune with its presence in November that holds the promise of invigorating interaction across various sectors.
Adding to the unfolding narrative, Laos is poised to take the helm as the ASEAN Chair for the upcoming year, signalling a new phase of leadership. Concurrently, Indonesia will continue its role as the incumbent ASEAN Chair, underscoring the collaborative spirit and unity that underpin the region’s dynamics.
H.E. Mr. Bounmy Vanmany, The Ambassador of Laos to India mentioned, “I am confident that the outcome of India ASEAN Trade Council” conference which is being held in the beautiful city of Pune will help to promote and strengthen Lao India trade relations and cooperation to a higher level in near future, in particular, to pave the way for connecting people to people of our two nations closer and closer. In this regard, I would like to express my sincere thanks for inviting me and wish India ASEAN Trade Council Conference a great success”.
The Ambassador of Myanmar H.E. Mr. Moe Kyaw Aung stated, “The year 2018 marked the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Myanmar and India. Both the countries not only have a long history of friendly relationships and cultural linkages but also share strong economic and commercial ties. It is rightly said that Myanmar-India relations are rooted in shared historical, ethnic, cultural and religious ties.”
Mr. Ranganathan, the Honorary Counsel of Myanmar remarked, “India and Myanmar mark a new chapter in their diplomatic ties as they enhance their relationship within the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The historical and cultural bonds between India and Myanmar lay a solid foundation for this partnership. Drawing from their rich heritage, the two countries are poised to foster closer economic collaboration, with trade and investment being key areas of focus. Both nations recognize the untapped potential for growth in trade and are working towards maximizing mutual benefits.”
President, Indian Economic Trade Organization, Dr. Asif Iqbal stated, “With over 640 million inhabitants, ASEAN represents 8.7% of the total world population. The strengthening of relations in the geopolitical sphere has given a push to the India-ASEAN economic ties, with ASEAN now being India’s fourth-largest trading partner engaging in bilateral trade in 2019-20 worth $86.9 billion. India’s ‘Act East’ policy is a core tenet of its Indo-Pacific vision. India also has a free trade agreement (FTA) with ASEAN, spanning goods, services and investment. Despite its motto “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”, ASEAN is one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world and we open our doors for collaboration to all countries that subscribe to the same principle
The Trade Commissioner, Dr. Sachin Madhukar Kate emphasized, “As the Trade Commissioner in Pune, I will get all the industries in Pune as it is a great enterprising city with youth population and it has a huge scope for businesses in ASEAN countries and our office will support people looking forward for opportunities in ASEAN region and will put efforts to organize various activities to educate and create a conducive business atmosphere amongst the nations for better business growth and investment promotion. We will work on strengthening relations between India and ASEAN and deepening them with evolved partnership characterized by friendship and collaboration.”