India and ASEAN have reached an accord to enhance partnership in the field of science and technology with a thrust on bio-technology and agriculture.
"The agreement is on setting up an Indo-ASEAN Science and Technology Fund to undertake collaborative work in Research and Development and technology development in areas of common interest," Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal told reporters today on the sidelines of the 12th Technology Summit and Technology Platform in the capital.
The areas of common interest include bio-technology and pharmaceuticals, agriculture for food security and advanced materials.
The Summit has been jointly organised by the Department of Science and Technology, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology.
Sibal and Malaysian Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Jamaluadin Mohammed Jarjis, who is leading the ASEAN delegation, signed the agreement on Monday.
"The Summit has been an enormous success and was attended by the representatives of various countries," Sibal said.
He said there was a huge market for agricultural products and bio-technology. "We have to consolidate this market and to come out with a regulatory framework to ensure that the value addition resulting from there ensures benefit to the ASEAN region," he said.
He said another decision was to set up India-ASEAN Institute for Intellectual Property for builing human resource capacities and training to serve the ASEAN region.