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Strengthening ASEAN-India relations: Secretary-General’s official visit to India

February 10, 2024 12:08 PM IST

Dr. S Jaishankar | ASEAN-India | Dr. Kao Kim Hourn | ASEAN-India Network of Universities | Indian Council of World Affairs

The Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, is set to embark on an official five-day visit to India from 11 to 15 February. This marks his inaugural official trip to India since assuming office in January 2023.

During his visit, Dr. Hourn will hold discussions with the Indian Foreign Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, and other dignitaries. He will also deliver a lecture on “ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in Developmental Regional Architecture” at the Sapru House, organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).

In addition to official engagements, Dr. Hourn will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mahabodhi Temple in Gaya, Bihar. The Ministry has disclosed that he will also address a gathering at Nalanda University in Rajgir on the topic of “The Future of ASEAN: Relevance and Flexibility in Emerging Strategic Environment.” Students from ASEAN member countries pursue higher education under ASEAN-India cooperation initiatives at universities, with Nalanda University leading the ASEAN-India Network of Universities (AIUN).

According to the Ministry, India’s engagement with ASEAN is a vital pillar of its Act East Policy, which entered its 10th year in 2024. This policy underscores India’s commitment to enhancing its strategic partnership with ASEAN nations and deepening regional integration efforts.

Dr. Hourn’s visit underscores the significance of ASEAN-India relations and highlights the multifaceted cooperation between the two regions across various domains, including education, culture, and strategic partnerships. As both India and ASEAN continue to navigate complex geopolitical dynamics, such high-level interactions serve to reinforce mutual understanding and collaboration towards shared goals of regional peace, stability, and prosperity.

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