India is holding negotiations with Oil rich Indonesia for partnering in
their refining industry and liquefied natural gas industries as part of the
country’s efforts to step up ties with the ASEAN Region, rich source of crude
and natural gas, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on December 13.
The country is working towards increasing its trade and investment in the
South East Asian region especially in the hydro carbon sector the minister said
while speaking at a conference on India-ASEAN strategic partnership and Act
East policy formulated by the late prime minister P V Narasimha Rao in the
1990s at the National capital
Pradhan said state-owned oil marketing firms were in the process of
enhancing their retailing business in the region, adding that India had
recently dispatched its first shipment of diesel to Myanmar.
Asean, India’s fourth largest trading partner, accounts for more than 10
per cent of the country’s total trade. Foreign direct investment flows into
India from this block between April 2007 and March 2015 touched 32 billion US
Dollars, the minister said.
Jitendra Singh, minister of state for development of North Eastern Region,
, said the government was working on a single window clearance system for trade
between the North-East and Asean nations.
New Delhi will be hosting all the 10 Asean leaders for a commemorative
summit marking 25 years of ties with the grouping in January. The leaders will
also be chief guests at India’s Republic Day celebrations on 26 January.
India is looking to play a more active role in the Indo-Pacific region and
will be pushing for deeper strategic cooperation with Asean to balance the
China-dominated power dynamics in the region. Key issues including effectively
tackling the threat of terrorism, boosting maritime security cooperation and
enhancing connectivity will be the other areas of deliberations at the
forthcoming summit in January.