PM Modi Affirms ASEAN’s Key Role in India’s Act East Policy at 20th ASEAN Summit

7 September, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava

ASEAN Top News

PM Modi called for amplifying the voice of the global south and highlighted the elevation of India-ASEAN ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2022.

During his address at the summit, PM Modi emphasized the pivotal role of ASEAN within India’s Act East policy and its significance in India’s Indo-Pacific initiative. He expressed his honor at co-chairing the summit and commended Indonesian President Joko Widodo for hosting it.

PM Modi underscored the common values, regional integration, and shared commitment to peace that bind India and ASEAN together. He highlighted the historical and geographical connections that unite the two regions and emphasized the shared values of regional integration, peace, prosperity, and a multipolar world. He also reiterated India’s support for ASEAN’s perspective on ASEAN-India centrality and the Indo-Pacific region.

“Our history and geography unite India and ASEAN. Along with it, our shared values, regional integration, and our shared belief in peace, prosperity and a multipolar world also unite us. ASEAN is the central pillar of India’s Act East Policy. India supports ASEAN’s outlook on ASEAN-India centrality and Indo-Pacific,” he stated in Hindi.

In his opening remarks at the 20th ASEAN Summit, PM Modi elaborated on this year’s theme, “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth,” and emphasized that ASEAN’s importance lies in its inclusive decision-making process and its role in global economic growth.

“This year’s theme is ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth. ASEAN matters because here everyone’s voice is heard and ASEAN is epicenter of growth because ASEAN plays an important role in global growth.”

He referred to the G20 theme, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – One Earth, One Family, One Future,” under India’s presidency.

PM Modi called for amplifying the voice of the global south and highlighted the elevation of India-ASEAN ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2022. He congratulated Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hune Manet, on his recent appointment and acknowledged the roles of Singapore as the Country Coordinator and Laos, which will assume the ASEAN chairmanship in 2024.

During his visit to Indonesia, PM Modi also attended the East Asia Summit and received a ceremonial welcome at Jakarta International Airport upon his arrival. He met with members of the Indian diaspora and was warmly welcomed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the Jakarta Convention Centre, the venue of the ASEAN Summit.

In his departure statement, Prime Minister Modi expressed his eagerness to discuss practical cooperation measures with other leaders to collectively address global challenges. He reiterated the importance of India’s engagement with the ASEAN group as a significant pillar of India’s ‘Act East Policy.’ PM Modi’s visit to Jakarta was at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

As per the latest update, Prime Minister Narendra Modi departed Indonesia this morning and is set to return to New Delhi on Thursday evening in preparation for the G20 Summit scheduled for September 9-10.

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