Engagement with ASEAN and Oceania Region will remain critical element of India’s Act East Policy: Secretary (East), MEA

New Delhi: Ms Riva Ganguly Das, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs today emphasised on the importance of India’s relations with ASEAN and Oceania countries for enhancing collaboration in areas such as Digital connectivity, Information Technology, Fintech, Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals.

Addressing the session ‘India’s Engagement with World’s Growth Centre – ASEAN and Oceania Region’, organized by FICCI, Ms Das highlighted the centrality of these two regions in terms of India’s vision for Indo-pacific and urged the industry to explore opportunities in emerging areas of cooperation like Blue economy, Disaster management and Sustainable development, Defence cooperation, building connectivity through India- Myanmar – Thailand Trilateral Highway.

Key principles of Act East Policy are promotion of economic cooperation, cultural ties, and development of strategic relationship with countries in Indo pacific region, added Ms Das.

Mr Uday Shankar, President, FICCI highlighted that in order to build new and resilient supply chains with ASEAN and Oceania region, we must upgrade the skilling, improve logistics services, and strengthen the infrastructure connectivity with ASEAN and Oceania region.

He further added that sectors such as Start-ups and innovation, E-commerce, Infrastructure, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, etc. hold the maximum promise for collaboration between India and the countries in the ASEAN and Oceania region.

Mr Shankar also laid emphasis on business and economic cooperation in areas of mutual interest such as start-ups, and innovation, empowerment of youth and women and the development of MSMEs for elevating the plateau of our relationship with ASEAN and Oceania countries.


Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI delivered the vote of thanks.


India’s economic relations with ASEAN and Oceania countries have evolved over the years. Although we share a dynamic relationship, there is still huge untapped potential in trade and investment aspects that can be achieved. India can play a key role in reforming and creating new partnerships with these regions for enabling economic growth. The session also talked about how India can become the next potential alternative to the world, for de-risking business, bringing an opportunity to be part of global value chains.