Symposium on “Towards Realization of the ASEAN Connectivity Plus: Moving Forward with ASEAN-India Connectivity”

December 5, 2013

    A symposium entitled “Towards Realization of the ASEAN Connectivity Plus: Moving Forward with ASEAN-India Connectivity” was held on 27 November 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. It was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand. This Symposium was planned to raise attention to, deepen understanding of, and materialize the idea of “ASEAN connectivity Plus” which was referred to in the Declaration of the 6th East Asia Summit on ASEAN Connectivity in November 2011, and also one of the important elements of the idea of “ASEAN-India Connectivity”. The Symposium was supported by Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).

    Participants from ASEAN are, among others, H.E. Pradap Pibulsonggram, Ambassador and Thailand’s Representative to ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC), Ambassadors and ACCC members from other ASEAN Member States, Dr. Poramethee Vimolsiri, Deputy Secretary–General, National Economic and Social Development Board of Thailand, Dr. Chula Sukmanop, Director General, Ministry of Transport of Thailand, and H.E. Math Sounmala, Director-General, Ministry of Public Works and Transport of Lao PDR and her National Coordinator on ASEAN Connectivity. H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN, made a keynote speech. H.E. Anil Wadhwa, Ambassador of India to Thailand, Ms. Renu Pall, Joint Secretary, ASEAN-Multilateral, Ministry of External Affairs of India who is also the head of Indian Delegation on ACCC-India Meeting on Connectivity were among the speakers from India. H.E. Kimihiro Ishikane, Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN, Mr. Hiroshi Hanaoka, Chief Representative in Bangkok, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and Mr. Motonobu Sato, Chairman, Federation of Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN (FJCCIA) also joined the Symposium.

    In the Symposium, current situations and future directions of ASEAN-India Connectivity were explained by representatives from government and academia, while representatives from business sector expressed their hope of further strengthening the Connectivity. Also, finance mobilization for further developing hard infrastructures was discussed with participation of Asian Development Bank and export-import banks.

    It is desirable that government, industry and academia will cooperate each other for further enhancing ASEAN-India Connectivity so that the region will continue to prosper.