On 27 December 2012, Mr. Pisan Manawapat, Ambassador of Thailand, chaired the 96th Meeting of the ASEAN New Delhi Committee (ANDC) and handed over the chairmanship of the ANDC for the period of January-June 2013 to Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Tan from Viet Nam.
Under the Chairmanship of Thailand (July-December 2012), the Committee had played a key role in raising the awareness of ASEAN among Indian public and helping in the coordination between ASEAN capitals and the Government and private sector of India for the successful conclusion of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit and related activities in December. Key outcomes were as follows:
- A message on ASEAN Day by the ANDC Chair published in the Hindustan Times on 8 August 2012
- A collective action to raise concerns about hiking of airport development fee at Delhi Airport with a letter from the ANDC Chair on 1 October to the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Civil Aviation. This led to a review of the earlier decision made by Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) to raise the fees that will have negative impact on travelers.
- A trip to Assam and Nagaland by ASEAN Heads of Missions and representatives to raise awareness and promote ASEAN-India connectivity on 15-18 October.
- Coordination with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for a smooth journey of ASEAN-India Car Rally that traversed more than 8,000 km. and passed through 9 ASEAN countries and India from 25 November – 16 December.
- Coordination with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) for the organization of the 2nd India-ASEAN Business Fair at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi on 18-20 December. Hundreds of leading business executives from all ASEAN countries and India participated in the B2B meeting and exhibition.
- Coordination with selected India media for the publication of ASEAN Supplements on 20-21 December.
- Coordinating with the Ministry of External Affairs of India and other relevant agencies for the successful organization of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit on 20-21 December.
The Committee also organized an ASEAN Bowling Tournament on 25 August; hosted welcoming lunches in honour of the new Philippines Ambassador on 1 October and the new Indonesian Ambassador on 13 October. In September, they also bid farewell to Ambassador U Zin Yaw from Myanmar who was promoted as the Deputy Foreign Minister of Myanmar and Ambassador Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Andi Muhammad Ghalib from Indonesia.
The ANDC was set up to coordinate works in raising the profile of ASEAN and promoting dialogue relations between ASEAN and India. It comprises all Ambassadors of ASEAN Member States accredited to India. The Committee meets regularly under the 6-month rotating chairmanship of Ambassador of ASEAN country. The chairmanship for the period of January-June 2013 is Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Tan from Viet Nam.
Mr. Soonthorn Chiyindeepum
Royal Thai Embassy, New Delhi
31 December 2012