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Aug 07, 2012, 07.44 PM IST
Projects worth over USD 70 million are being processed to enhance people to people contact and institutional connectivity between India and the ASEAN grouping, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today said.
Addressing the first round table of ASEAN-India network of think tanks here, he also said high priority is accorded to enhance physical connectivity within the area and discussions are on for a new India-Myanmar-Laos-Vietnam-Cambodia highway.
"ASEAN Secretariat is currently processing projects worth over USD 70 million suggested by India under the ASEAN-India Plan of Action for 2010-15. These are across sectors to enhance people-to-people and institutional connectivity between ASEAN and India," the minister said.
Observing that the region's future lies in its youth, he said, "We together constitute a 1.8 billion people, a market with resource and demand, a region with complementary capacities and resources."
He said 40% and 50% of ASEAN and Indian population constitutes of its youth respectively. On physical connectivity within in the region, Krishna said, "India began discussions with ASEAN at the Land Transport Working Group Meeting in early July. There are multiple ideas and possibilities, apart from India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway wherein we have just recently taken on additional commitments at the request of Myanmar.
"There are ideas about extension of the Trilateral Highway to Laos and Cambodia and also a new highway linking India-Myanmar-Laos-Vietnam-Cambodia."
Krishna also hoped the round table will focus on practical aspects of these ideas and will also examine feasibility of public private partnership and joint venture into the programmes of governments concerned.
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