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Explain the India-ASEAN relations. Or Write a note on Look East Policy.

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ASEAN stands for Association of South East Asian Nations. There are 10 members : Indonesia, Malaysia, Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. India has worked really hard to maintain deep commercial and tactical relations with these nations.

1. The 1997, China rose as a powerful nation who supported undemocratic rule based on violence and the assistance given by China to illegal military groups of Myanmar. Thus India decided to establish relations with such countries so that attempts could be made in the direction to bring some change and to transform them to democratic economy. 

2. In June 2015 India signed border agreement with Bangladesh through which two parts Chittagong and Mongla were restructured. India has secured itself from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. 

3. India signed three commercial agreements with Singapore under ‘look east policy’. In 2001 Prime Minister Vajpayee visited Vietnam and Indonesia which bore fruitful results. We signed bilateral agreement with Vietnam on the issues of nuclear energy, trade and commerce, art and culture. Then we concluded defence agreement with Indonesia. 

4. In the same year, on the tour of Malaysia, both countries decided to increase the trade relation from 2.5 million dollars to 5 million dollars in 5 years. 

5. In Singapore visit of 2002 Vajpayee concluded with Goh Chok Tong agreements related to terrorism, trade and bio technology. Then he went to Cambodia and signed 3 agreements. 

6. The establishment of close relation with SE Asia led to the ambitious project of Mekong-Ganga. Its members were India, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. This began the cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, technology, tourism, education and culture. 

7. A milestone was established in India-ASEAN relationship under Prime Minister Mahmohan Singh in 2004, when they decided to act unaninously against terrorism. 

8. Till November 2014, 12 sessions of India-ASEAN top-level summit took place. In the 12th ASEAN summit, P.M. Narendra Modi instead of ‘look east policy1 gave the slogan of ‘Act East Policy’. This motto raised the prestige of India on the world stage.

9. The 13th India-ASEAN summit is to be held in Cambodia.

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