The first Indo ASEAN Oceanic Business Summit & Expo, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), is being held virtually from Tuesday to Thursday this week.

The three-day summit and expo cover a wide range of topics, including biotech, healthcare, agriculture, energy and renewable energy.

Logistics and supply chains, information technology (IT), information and communications technology (ICT) equipment and manufacturing value chains will also be covered.

The trilateral business summit is the first event to involve 15 countries from ASEAN and the Oceanic region in addition to India. Governments, enterprises, business chambers, think tanks and academia from each country were invited to attend.

Secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce Seang Thay participated in the inaugural session on Tuesday, according to an event press release.

The relationship of India with ASEAN and Oceanic countries was a key pillar of India’s foreign diplomacy and the foundation of the Indo Pacific Policy.

India’s bilateral trade with ASEAN economies is estimated to be worth more than $142 billion, while its bilateral trade with Oceanic countries reached nearly $18 billion in 2018-19, the press release said.

It said the summit will give industry players the means to hold B2B sessions, showcase products and services through a virtual exhibition section, attend conferences and seminars and access the knowledge/library section.

In her address to the summit on Tuesday, ambassador of India to Cambodia Manika Jain said India and ASEAN should cooperate in the digital space and learn from each other as they craft a strategy on the use of these digital technologies.

But the connectivity could be achieved only when the different digital capacities of each country in the region are evaluated, she said.

Jain urged Indians to enter the digital space of the Cambodian market, as India has a good reputation in the field and there has also been encouragement through government policies.

Digital adoption by businesses in Cambodia was constrained by challenges in accessing financial services as well as by lack of skilled staff and adequate legal framework, she said.

“So, one sees great potential for digital applications, marketing of new ideas, trading and purchasing apps as well as various e-commerce platforms, she said, adding that Cambodia needed solutions in healthcare, education, and skill-building.

“Indians can invest in new ideas and start-ups in Cambodia which has a reasonable digital infrastructure and a good appetite for growth,” Jain said.

She stressed that India is committed to cooperating with Cambodia.

“Finally, I wish to reiterate that in the Cambodian context, it is imperative to have knowledge connectivity by promoting seminars, talk shows and interactive sessions to showcase Indian capability, resources and willingness to engage with the country,” she said.