Sunday January 26, 2020
Home India India mulls f...

India mulls freight service links with ASEAN



By NewsGram Staff Writer

India is keen to have freight services with ASEAN member countries after a fortnightly freighter service with Myanmar proved to be commercially feasible, said a top official on Friday.

Anil Wadhwa, secretary (east) in the ministry of external affairs, addressing the Fourth ASEAN-India Network of Think Tanks (AINTT) in Kuala Lumpur, said that work on the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport project is progressing apace.

“We have just concluded negotiations on a Trilateral Motor Vehicle Agreement, and are also negotiating a Maritime Transport Cooperation Agreement with ASEAN in order to strengthen maritime connectivity. Our experiment of a direct fortnightly freighter with Myanmar has proven to be commercially feasible and we are open to replicating this experiment with other ASEAN Member States,” he said.

He said that in order to boost trade and investment, connectivity and access to infrastructure, finance is needed and connectivity is receiving the highest priority on the ASEAN-India cooperation agenda.

“We are working to create a Special Facility for project financing and quick implementation of connectivity projects with ASEAN, whereby industry could receive government support for investments in connectivity projects with the ASEAN region,” Wadhwa added.

He said the think tank community could conduct feasibility studies to ascertain the viability of projects before venturing into a coastal shipping network linking India with ASEAN member states.

“Such studies could be undertaken in a phased manner and we could prioritise countries and ports to look at on the basis of desktop studies based on current trade volume, cargo profile and future potential”, Wadhwa said.

He said more in-depth research on trade, tourism and business spin-offs were needed including on liberalised air services arrangements covering passenger, cargo and technical services between India and ASEAN countries.

Referring to the close cultural and historical ties between the two sides, Wadhwa said: “Hundreds of thousands of Indians have emigrated to South East Asia in the last 200 years. Their descendants today constitute a vibrant community of Indian origin people, contributing actively to their respective countries of adoption. Malaysia alone has nearly 2 million persons of Indian origin, constituting the second largest Indian diaspora abroad.”

He said the ASEAN-India Plan of Action for 2016-2021 will aim to strengthen the socio-cultural pillar of ASEAN-India engagement.

Among other initiatives for integration, were the Mekong Ganga Cooperation, aimed at reviving cooperation between the peoples of the two river basins in the fields of tourism, education, culture and promoting people-to-people contacts, as well as the re-establishment of the Nalanda University at Rajgir as a world-renowned knowledge hub.

The initiatives celebrate and lend a contemporary dimension to the historical linkages that bind India and Southeast Asia, he said.

Next Story

Nalanda University to introduce Vedic Studies, may also start short-term programmes on subjects like Mindfulness and Yoga

Nalanda University. Source: Wikimedia

Patna, May 20, 2017: Nalanda University plans to introduce Vedic Studies and may also start short-term executive programmes on subjects like Mindfulness and Yoga.

“Within the existing schools, we will create new departments,” Vice Chancellor Sunaina Singh said in a statement.

“For instance, in the School of Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religions we plan to introduce Vedic Studies, Indian Spiritual Tradition and Peace Studies,” Singh said.

Go to NewsGram and check out news related to political current issues.

Envisioning Nalanda University as an intellectual bridge between India, Asia and the Asia-Pacific countries, she said the West looks to India as a solution centre.

“Indian knowledge systems have to be explored,” Singh said.

“The University may also start some short-term executive programmes on subjects like Mindfulness and Yoga.”

According to her, the university needs to build more schools and departments for academic excellence.

Look for latest news from India in NewsGram.

“The School of Linguistics and Literature and The School of International Relations and Peace Studies will be the next schools that we will focus on.”

Located in the Buddhist pilgrim town of Rajgir in Bihar’s Nalanda district, the university began its first academic session in September 2014 on a makeshift campus. (IANS)

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.