NEW DELHI, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Wednesday called for enhancing cooperation with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN ) as India-ASEAN partnership turns 25 years anniversary.
"The ASEAN region is considered as our extended neighborhood and enhancing connectivity is crucial to deepening India's diplomatic, economic and cultural ties with the countries," the minister said at a conference held in New Delhi.
"The 'Act East Policy' can be significantly supported by India's north-eastern region becoming a bridgehead for India to the booming ASEAN markets," he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Jitendra Singh, India's junior minister for development of north-eastern region, said that the Indian government was committed to infrastructure and connectivity development in the country's northeast.
The conference, organized by Indian think tank Kalinga International Foundation, was attended by a host of Indian ministers, Track-2 diplomats and academicians.
The ASEAN comprises of Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
India-ASEAN trade and investment relations have been growing steadily, with ASEAN being India's fourth largest trading partner accounting for 10.2 percent of the country's total trade while India is ASEAN's seventh largest trading partner.