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ASEAN:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

Context:

India is in discussion with the 10-nation bloc ASEAN for initiating the review of the FTA (free-trade agreement) in goods between the two regions to seek more market access for domestic products.

 

Free Trade Agreement (FTA):

  • It is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to imports and exports among them.
  • Under a free trade policy, goods and services can be bought and sold across international borders with little or no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions to inhibit their exchange.
  • The concept of free trade is the opposite of trade protectionism or economic isolationism.

 

Current Affairs

 

What is ASEAN?

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional organization which was established to promote political and social stability amid rising tensions among the Asia-Pacific’s post-colonial states.

The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.

ASEAN Secretariat – Indonesia, Jakarta.

 

Genesis:

Established in 1967 with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers.

Founding Fathers of ASEAN are: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

 

Ten Members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

 

Significance of ASEAN for India:

  1. Against the backdrop of aggressive moves by China, including the Ladakh standoff, India placed the ASEAN at the centre of India’s Act East policy and held that a cohesive and responsive ASEAN is essential for security and growth for all in the region.
  2. ASEAN is necessary for the success of the Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) Vision.
  3. The region is significant for diversification and resilience of supply chains for post-Covid-19 economic recovery.
  4. It is India’s 4th largest trading partner with about USD 86.9 billion in trade.

 

Insta Curious:

India became a Sectoral Partner of ASEAN in 1992. Read here.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Geographical location of asean countries.
  2. Total population of asean countries.
  3. Chairmanship of ASEAN.
  4. When and where Asean summits are held?
  5. What are Free-trade agreements (FTAs)?

Mains Link:

Examine the significance of ASEAN for India’s economic, geo-strategic and security imperatives?

Sources: the Hindu.