New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today attended the 18th India-ASEAN Summit at the invitation of His Excellency Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, the current President of ASEAN, Brunei. The summit was held virtually and was attended by politicians from ASEAN member states.
Highlighting the remarkable achievement of the 30th anniversary of the India-ASEAN partnership, all these politicians declared the year 2022 as the ‘Year of India-ASEAN Friendship’. Prime Minister Modi underlined the central role of ASEAN in India’s vision for India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and a comprehensive Indo-Pacific vision. Relying on the convergence between the ASEAN Outlook for the Indo-Pacific (AoIP) and India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI), Prime Minister Modi and the ASEAN leaders called on ‘India’ on cooperation for peace, stability and prosperity in the region. Welcomed the approval of the ‘ASEAN Joint Statement’.
Referring to Covid-19, Prime Minister Modi highlighted India’s tireless efforts in the fight against the pandemic in the region and also reiterated the support needed for ASEAN’s initiatives in this direction. India has contributed USD 200,000 to ASEAN Humanitarian Initiative for Myanmar and USD 1 million worth of medical supplies to ASEAN’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
These leaders exchanged their views on enhancing India-ASEAN engagement in a broader sense, including physical, digital and people-to-people interactions. In order to further strengthen the India-ASEAN cultural ties, Prime Minister Modi announced India’s support for the preparation of the ASEAN Cultural Heritage List. On trade and investment, Prime Minister Modi underlined the importance of diversifying and strengthening supply chains to ensure post-Covid economic recovery, as well as the need to improve India-ASEAN FTAs in this regard.
Politicians from ASEAN countries lauded India’s role as a reliable partner in the region through the supply of vaccines, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. These politicians also welcomed the necessary support from India to the central role of ASEAN in the Indo-Pacific region, and at the same time, through the joint statement of all politicians, to further enhance India-ASEAN cooperation in this region. hoped of.
These discussions also covered regional and international issues of common interest and serious concern, including the South China Sea and terrorism. Both sides underscored the importance of promoting a rules-based order in the region, including compliance with international law, in particular UNCLOS. These leaders reaffirmed the special importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, security and security in the South China Sea, and ensuring freedom of navigation and aircraft over a particular area.
India and ASEAN enjoy a wide, strong and multifaceted relationship and the 18th India-ASEAN Summit provided an opportunity to review various aspects of this relationship and reshape the future of the India-ASEAN Strategic Partnership at the highest level.