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ASEAN seeks Indian role to battle economic crisis

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) wants India to play an "important role" to help mitigate the negative impact of the current global financial crisis.

business Updated: Oct 25, 2009 11:04 IST

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) wants India to play an "important role" to help mitigate the negative impact of the current global financial crisis.

The appeal was made by the 10-member regional body at the seventh India-ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin on Saturday, according to a statement put out by the ASEAN Secretariat. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led India at the summit.

It said ASEAN leaders suggested that India, as a member of G20, "can play an important role in coordinating efforts between developed and emerging economies to mitigate the negative impact of the current global economic and financial crisis.

"India can also work with ASEAN to complement the global efforts in the reform of the international financial architecture and accelerate the early recovery of the global economy," the statement said.

The ASEAN also welcomed India's proposal to host an ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in 2012 to mark 20 years of the India-ASEAN dialogue relations.

India and the ASEAN, the statement said, reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate in addressing trans-boundary issues and global challenges including terrorism and transnational crimes especially in the areas of drug trafficking, food and energy security, natural disasters and climate change.

The ASEAN leaders also appreciated the efforts made by India in promoting cooperation in the fields of traditional medicine and ayurveda, including among other things through the convening of workshops and grant of scholarships.

The statement said the ASEAN "took note with appreciation" the initiatives suggested by Manmohan Singh including establishment of an India-ASEAN round table to provide policy inputs to governments on future areas of cooperation.

The prime minister had also suggested holding an ASEAN Trade and Industrial Exhibition in India, and enhancing cooperation in the farm sector with a view to meeting the challenges of food security.

ASEAN said: "We emphasised the need to promote connectivity in the region by completing all the missing links between South and Southeast Asia and beyond.

"We supported India's vision to create an 'Art of Advantage' for our region through further integration of sea, road and rail links."

ASEAN leaders also appreciated India's continued efforts in promoting people-to-people contacts and mutual understanding through visits to India of students, journalists and diplomats.