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Chronology of Major Events 2009 - Page 11

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Chronology of Major Events 2009
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Southeast Asia

3 January:India signed a bilateral labour mobility agreement under Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia after two years of negotiation. The MoU enabled orderly recruitment of workers to get employment in each other’s countries.

2 May: After a decade long pause, Australia released a defence white paper. The paper entitled “Defending Australia in the Asia-Pacific century: Force 2030” envisaged the government’s defence in the coming decades. The ambitious plan sets a target of 3 percent real growth in the defence budget till 2017-18 and 2.2 percent from then till 2030.

29 May: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd proposed the formation of an ‘Asia Pacific Community’ on the basis of dialogue among regional powers and the United States at the eighth annual Asia Security Summit held in Singapore.

6 June: India sealed free-trade deal in goods with other BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries at Phuket in Thailand.

11 August:The Myanmar court sentenced Aung San Suu Kyi to 18 months of additional house arrest that drew widespread condemnation from around the world. The sentence assures that San Suu Kyi remains in detention through the parliamentary election to be held in 2010.

13 August:India signed Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with 10 Southeast Asian nations at Bangkok for duty free import and export of 4,000 products ranging from steel to apparels to sugar and tobacco over a period of eight years.

1 September:Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth after it failed to meet a deadline to make progress towards establishing democracy.

23 October: At the 15th Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Hua Hin, Thailand, Prime Manmohan Singh proposed the establishment of a joint task force that could ensure a substantive outcome for India’s 10th summit with the South-east Asian grouping in 2012 and also offered to play host to the bilateral gathering that year.

12 November: India and Australia agreed to create comprehensive framework for enhancement of security cooperation. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his counterpart Kevin Rudd concluded a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation at the end of the meeting in New Delhi.

15 November: Leaders of 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation countries concluded a two-day summit held in Singapore. The leaders at the forum pledged to promote balanced, inclusive, and sustainable growth to ensure a durable economic recovery.

11 December: On the sidelines of BIMSTEC meet at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein assured the External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna that Myanmar would not be a safe haven for the anti-India insurgents to operate from.

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