PM Modi said cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic will strengthen India-ASEAN friendship.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (October 28) said ASEAN’s unity and centrality have always been an important priority for India.
Addressing the 18th India-ASEAN Summit via video conference, Modi said, “India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and ASEAN’s Outlook for the Indo-Pacific are the framework for their shared vision and mutual cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.”
The PM said cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic will strengthen our relationship. “Due to COVID-19, all of us had to face a lot of challenges, this challenging time was also a test of India-ASEAN friendship. Our mutual cooperation in COVID era will keep strengthening our relations in future and form base for goodwill between our people,” ANI quoted him as saying.
Further, the PM noted that 2022 would mark completion of 30 years of the India-ASEAN partnership. He added, “In 2022, our partnership would complete 30 years. India will also complete 75 years of its independence. I am delighted that we will celebrate this important milestone as ASEAN-India Friendship Year.”
In the 18th East Asia Summit, PM Modi reviewed the status of the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership. He participated in the summit at the invitation of the Sultan of Brunei.
Riva Ganguly Das, Secretary-East, MEA on India-ASEAN Summit said, “PM Modi underlined the centrality of ASEAN in India’s vision for the Indo-Pacific. He noted that partnership with ASEAN is a key pillar of India’s Act East Policy.”
PM Modi also took stock of progress made in key areas including COVID-19, health, trade and commerce, connectivity, and education and culture.
The leaders will also discuss important regional and international developments including post-pandemic economic recovery. ASEAN-India summits are held annually and provide the opportunity for India and ASEAN to engage at the highest level.
Last year, PM Modi virtually attended the 17th ASEAN-India Summit in November. The 18th summit was the ninth ASEAN-India Summit attended by Modi.