Amid China tensions, Southeast Asia looks to India
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Trade between India and the 10-member ASEAN was up to $80 billion last year compared with $47 billion in 2008. An agreement on free trade in services and investment could be signed at the New Delhi meeting.
Direct flights from Delhi to Myanmar on Indian airline SpiceJet are due to begin in the next few weeks.
But India's role in the region is dwarfed by that of China, which enjoyed trade worth a record $363 billion with ASEAN countries in 2011 in an already established free trade area.
"What we need is far greater connectivity," Khurshid said in an interview, mentioning roads, railways and flights as areas needing work.
"There is still a lot that can done, and we hope that over the next few months and years we will see considerable improvement," said Khurshid, who also described a 10-year plan to double the number of diplomats to reflect India's growing global ambitions.
The first meeting of ASEAN leaders in India is a watershed in India's efforts to build ties with Southeast Asia.
The prime ministers of Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam, the presidents of Myanmar and Indonesian, and the vice president of the Philippines are scheduled to attend. The other nations in the group are Thailand, Laos, and Brunei.
India walks a delicate line to balance its increasingly close partnership with Washington as President Barack Obama steps up the U.S. presence in Asian, and the reality of living next door to China, Asia's fastest-growing superpower.
Khurshid played down the possibility of any tension with China and reiterated that India had no territorial claims in the South China Sea.
"I don't think this is something that will reach hostility or conflict, there are differences obviously - China has a very clear perception about its sovereignty and it also has a very clear idea of how it wants to resolve these issues.
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