India-ASEAN track 1.5 Dialogue

Cambodian Foreign Minister and the Chairman of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace are heading to New Delhi for the ASEAN-India track 1.5 dialogue to be held on Feb 13-14, 2012. Security and economic relations between India and ASEAN will be the top agenda for discussion. This reflects active engagement of India in the region and it will serve strategic and economic interests of ASEAN since India is an emerging power.

Economically, India has great potential to contribute to regional economy in several sectors including green revolution, ICT revolution, energy sector, and tourism. Regarding security, India can support ASEAN countries in maritime security capability and capacity building.

The engagement of India in the South China Sea reflects the strategic intention of India to play more relevant role in the Asia Pacific region. South China Sea and Indian Ocean are interconnected and have the same level of importance for regional security and economic development. The code of conduct being discussed between China and ASEAN can be applied to the Indian Ocean in the future.

How far ASEAN-India bilateral relations can go, it depends much on perceptions, calculation on national and regional interests, and the level of economic and strategic interdependence. It is certain that the trend will be positive and dynamic.

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