The strategic partnership between India and ASEAN is based on shared historical, geographical, and cultural heritage and it has always been the core of India’s Act East Policy, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

In his opening remarks at the 17th ASEAN-India Summit, he said that improving connectivity between India and ASEAN has been a priority area.

“It is of prime importance for us to improve physical, economic, societal, digital, financial and maritime connections between India and ASEAN. We’ve come closer in these sectors in the last couple of years and I believe this summit will go further to bridge gaps,” he said.

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He noted that there are many similarities between India’s ‘Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative’ and ASEAN’s ‘Outlook on Indo Pacific’.

“Strategic Partnership of India and ASEAN is based on our shared historical, geographical and cultural heritage. ASEAN has always been the core of our Act East Policy. There are many similarities between India’s ‘Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative’ and ASEAN’s ‘Outlook on Indo Pacific’,” Modi said.

Prime Minister Modi along with Vietnamese counterpart HE Nguyen Xuan Phuc, is co-chairing the 17th ASEAN-India Summit.

The leaders of all ten ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states are participating in the virtual summit to review the status of the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership and take stock of progress made in key areas such as connectivity, maritime cooperation, trade and commerce, education and capacity building. The latest 17th ASEAN-India Summit is the eighth ASEAN-India Summit attended by Prime Minister Modi.

Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday said that ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership stands on a strong foundation of shared geographical, historical and civilisational ties and India’s Act East Policy, underlining ASEAN centrality, reflects the importance, India attaches to engagement with ASEAN.

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