Began Seri Begawan (Brunei), Oct 9: India will soon have a separate mission dedicated to handle all its ASEAN related activities and mechanisms.
The 10-nation ASEAN is central to India’s 21-year old Look East policy and there are 27 different mechanisms at work now, spanning diverse fields.
The mechanisms include the ASEAN-India Summit and seven meetings at the level of ministers for external affairs, trade, agriculture, tourism, telecommunications, environment and new and renewable energy.
“We expect more dialogue mechanisms to open up in the coming month,” said a top official of the external affairs ministry.
Officials said the new mission will handle all ASEAN affairs.
The Eminent Person Group (EPG) has recommended for a dedicated ASEAN mission and the government has accepted this, said the official.
In June this year, India set up the ASEAN-India Centre in New Delhi. It is now working to set up a ASEAN-India Centre for trade and investment.
ASEAN-India trade today stands at $76 billion.
“We have a target of $100 billion by 2015 and $200 billion by 2022,” said an official.