August 2

BRICS trade ministers meeting held in Shanghai
Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended BRICS Trade Ministers meeting in Shanghai, China. On the sidelines of this meeting she also held meeting with Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan.
Measures to expand e-commerce cooperation among Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) were discussed at this meeting.
Economic and technological cooperation was included in the agenda for the first time in the trade ministers’ meeting’s history to improve the bloc’s capabilities in service trade, e-commerce and other fields.

August 4

First meeting of JICF for Development of North-Eastern Region held in New Delhi
The first meeting of the Japan-India Coordination Forum (JICF) for Development of North-Eastern Region was held in New Delhi.
Secretary, Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), Shri Naveen Verma led the Indian side while the Japanese delegation was led by the Japanese Ambassador to India, Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu.
Priority areas of cooperation identified by Indian side including Connectivity and Road Network Development, especially inter-State roads & major district roads; Disaster Management; Food Processing; Organic Farming and Tourism were discussed in the meeting.
According to Secretary, DoNER, Shri Naveen Verma regular meetings of the Forum would not only enhance Assistance by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) but also promote B2B and people to people contacts.

August 5

Southeast Asian diplomats open talks in Manila.
Southeast Asia’s top diplomats have opened their annual meeting at a convention and theater complex by Manila Bay.
Southeast Asian foreign ministers and their counterparts from the U.S., China, Russia, Japan, the two Koreas and other have arrived to the 50th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF) meeting in Manila.
Motorists were allowed through as joggers, cyclists and tennis players sweated under a cloudy sky.
Topping the agenda are the intercontinental ballistic missile tests by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and a siege by pro-Islamic State group militants in the southern Philippine city of Marawi, which has dragged on for more than two months.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organisation comprising ten Southeast Asian states which promotes Pan-Asianism, intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, military, educational and cultural integration amongst its members and Asian states.

August 8

Meeting of Regional Technical Group on Trade, Commerce and Investment CBM of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process held in New Delhi.
The eighth meeting of the Regional Technical Group of Confidence Building Measure on Trade, Commerce & Investment Opportunities under the Heart of Asia, Istanbul Process was hosted by India in New Delhi.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Acting Director General, Economic Cooperation Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, Mr. Hassan Soroosh, and Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Dr. Deepak Mittal and attended by representatives of 17 participating countries and supporting international organisations, including Azerbaijan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Australia, Egypt, Germany, the UK, the US, the EU and the UN.
The participants shared the view that Afghanistan acted as a natural bridge in promoting regional connectivity and economic integration.
There was consensus that economic development was an important factor in ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan and the Heart of Asia Region. In this context, the participants shared views on various measures and steps to promote transit and trade and realizing reliable and robust connectivity, with Afghanistan as the hub.
This included the recognition of the need to make the existing transit and trade agreements more inclusive and comprehensive by expanding them both northwards and southwards to connect South Asia with Central Asia; strengthening growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and involvement of women in economic development, including through women entrepreneurship; and simplifying customs procedures.