Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today participated in the 17thASEAN-India Summit at the invitation of H.E. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Vietnam, the current Chair of ASEAN.The Summit, which saw the participation of all ten ASEAN Member States, was conducted in virtual format.
Speaking at the Summit, Prime Minister underlined the centrality of ASEAN in India’s Act East Policy. He noted that a cohesive, responsive and prosperous ASEAN is central to India’s Indo-Pacific Vision and contributes to Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR). The Prime Minister underscored the importance of strengthening convergence between India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific, to ensure a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region. He also invited the ASEAN countries to cooperate on various pillars of India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI).
On COVID-19, the Prime Minister highlighted India’s response and broader support to the international community, and welcomed ASEAN’s initiatives to fight the pandemic. Prime Minister announced a contribution of US$ 1 million to the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund.
The Prime Minister also underscored the importance of greater physical and digital connectivity between ASEAN and India and reiterated India’s offer of US$ 1 billion Line of Credit to support ASEAN connectivity. On trade and investment, he underlined the importance of diversification and resilience of supply chains for post-COVID economic recovery.
The ASEAN leaders acknowledged India’s contribution towards promoting peace and stability in the region and welcomed India’s support to ASEAN centrality. The Leaders also welcomed the adoption of the new ASEAN-India Plan of Action for 2021-2025.
The discussions also covered regional and international issues of common interest and concern, including South China Sea and terrorism. Both sides noted the importance of promoting a rules-based order in the region including through upholding adherence to international law, especially the UNCLOS. The leaders affirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, safety and security in the South China Sea,and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight.