Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the ASEAN-India Summit at Jakarta in Indonesia on 7th Septmber 2023.

In his remarks at the 20th ASEAN-India summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, India-ASEAN partnership has reached the fourth decade and it is an honour for him to co-chair the Summit. He congratulated Indonesian President Joko Widodo for organising the Summit.

Mr Modi said, ASEAN is central pillar of India’s Act East policy and ASEAN has an important place in India’s Indo Pacific initiative. He also called for amplifying the voice of the global south. The Prime Minister said, last year India-ASEAN friendship day was celebrated and gave it a form of comprehensive strategic partnership. He said, the history and geography unite India and ASEAN. Mr Modi said, along with it, the shared values, regional integration, and the shared belief in peace, prosperity and a multipolar world also unite India and ASEAN.

The Prime Minister said, there has been consistent progress in India-ASEAN mutual cooperation in spite of atmosphere of global uncertainty. At the ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta, Mr Modi announced to open Indian Embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste. The theme of this year’s ASEAN Summit is ‘ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth. Mr Modi said, ASEAN matters because in the grouping everyone’s voice is heard and ASEAN is the epicenter of growth because the ASEAN region plays a crucial role in global development.

He said, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – one earth, one family, one future, this sentiment is also the theme of India’s G-20 Presidency. He said, the 21st century is Asia’s century. Mr Modi said, for this, it is necessary to build a rule-based post-COVID world order and efforts by all for human welfare.

The Prime Minister also attended East Asia Summit. Mr Modi said, productive discussions were held in the Summit on enhancing closer cooperation in key areas to further human empowerment. In his address, Mr Modi highlighted convergence on vision for Indo-Pacific between India and ASEAN and underscored that ASEAN is the focal point of Quad’s vision. He called for strengthening multilateralism and ensuring a free, open and rules based Indo-Pacific. The Prime Minister also called for collectively addressing global issues including terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and challenges related to food, health and energy security.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented a 12-point proposal for strengthening India – ASEAN cooperation covering connectivity, digital transformation, trade and economic engagement, addressing contemporary challenges, people-to-people contacts and deepening strategic engagement. He proposed for establishing multi-modal connectivity and economic corridor that links South-East Asia-India-West Asia-Europe.

Mr Modi offered to share India’s Digital Public Infrastructure Stack with ASEAN partners. He announced ASEAN-India fund for Digital Future focusing on cooperation in digital transformation and financial connectivity and renewal of support to Economic and Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) to act as knowledge partner for enhancing the engagement.

The Prime Minister called for collectively raising issues being faced by Global South in multilateral fora. He invited ASEAN countries to join Global Centre for Traditional Medicine being established by WHO in India. Mr Modi called for working together on Mission LiFE. He offered to share India’s experience in providing affordable and quality medicines to people through Jan-Aushadhi Kendras.

The Prime Minister called for collective fight against terrorism, terror financing and cyber-disinformation. He invited ASEAN countries to join Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. Mr Modi also called for cooperation in disaster management and enhanced cooperation on maritime safety, security and domain awareness. Two Joint Statements, one on Maritime Cooperation and the other on Food Security were adopted.

Secretary (East) in Ministry of External Affairs Saurabh Kumar said, it was a short but very productive visit of the Prime Minister. He said, Prime Minister’s participation in the Summit will give India-ASEAN relation a strategic direction. Mr Kumar said, Prime Minister had comprehensive discussions including in areas such as connectivity, maritime cooperation, digital transformation, Trade and Economy, Environment, Health and Medicine.

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