India, the US, Australia, and Japan on 31 May 2019 collectively came out in strong support of an ASEAN-led mechanism in the regional architecture for Indo-Pacific region.
The 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is considered one of the most influential groupings in the region and India and several other countries including the US, China, Japan, and Australia are its dialogue partners.
In November 2017, India, the US, Australia, and Japan gave shape to the long-pending “Quad” Coalition to develop a new strategy for keeping the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.
It said a number of other issues including connectivity and infrastructure development, regional security, counterterrorism, and maritime cooperation were discussed with a view to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
The ties between India and ASEAN have been on an upswing. The ASEAN region along with India accounts for 1.85 billion people, which is one-fourth of the global population and their combined GDP has been estimated at over USD 3.8 trillion. The ASEAN comprises Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.