THE second India-Asean Business Summit, which aims to foster greater economic activities be- tween India and Asean, kicks off today in New Dehli.
Indian Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee will officiate at the opening of the summit, which will be attended by close to 200 delegates from Asean, comprising ministers, deputy ministers, chief ministers and representatives from the business sector.
Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, Entrepreneur Deve- lopment Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz and Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Wira Ali Rustam Mohd Ali represent Malaysia.
The highlight is the launching of the India-Asean business portal which will carry a listing of small to big companies from the various industries in India.
External Affairs Ministry joint secretary and spokesperson Navtej Sarna told reporters that many delegates were looking forward to the summit following the mutual decision by the Indian and Asean parties to increase economic cooperation.
The potential from the summit could be seen in various framework arrangements in the form of free trade agreements (FTA) worked out by India over the past one year when it took years for other countries to have similar arrangements, he said.
As to the issue of security ahead of the summit given the recent bombings in Mumbai, he said everything had returned to normal and all necessary arrangements have been made.
Other Asean ministers attending the summit are from Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Singapore.
The conference, to be held in New Delhi today and tomorrow and on Saturday in Mumbai, is jointly organised by The Fe- deration of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).