Building on their growing economy and a shared vision of a pluralistic and inclusive Asia, India and Indonesia are poised to chart new frontiers in their multi-faceted partnership. In this wide-ranging interview with Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief of India and World magazine and India Writes Network, Indonesia’s Ambassador to India Sidharto R. Suryodipuro outlines core values that bind India and ASEAN and maps a robustly optimistic trajectory of India-Indonesia partnership.
(Excerpts from the interview)
Q) India is hosting Special Commemorative Summit, where all the ASEAN leaders are going to be present and they are also the guest of honour at the Republic Day Parade. It is indeed a unique moment in India- ASEAN relations. How do you look at the importance of the summit and the way ahead?
A) We will be celebrating 25 years of the India-ASEAN dialogue relationship and the changes that have taken place. We will not only be celebrating the adding of years, but also the changes that have taken place in Southeast Asia and India. Twenty-five years ago, the India-ASEAN relationship was sectoral, now it has been upgraded to comprehensive strategic partnership. India has changed its “Look East” policy to an “Act East” policy. The commemorative summit would be an opportunity to add momentum to this growing relationship. It is an opportunity for India to further bolster its policy and also for ASEAN to do the same. It will also be an opportunity for India and ASEAN to address the changes that are happening in the world.