New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday will co-chair the ASEAN summit in which India participates with 10 other nations. The summit will be held vitually and is expected to focus on various economic measures to recover from the financila blow dealth by the novel coronavirus pandemic and also ways to broaden strategic ties with each other.
Prime Minister Modi had attended the 16th ASEAN-India Summit in Bangkok in November 2019.
The summit will help review the ASEAN-India strategic partnership and will also take stock of progress made in key areas such as connectivity, maritime cooperation, trade and commerce, education and capacity building, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
“ASEAN-India strategic partnership stands on a strong foundation of shared geographical, historical and civilisational ties. India’s Act East Policy, underlining ASEAN centrality, reflects the importance, India attaches to engagement with ASEAN,” the statement read.
Along with PM Modi, the 17th India-ASEAN summit will also be co-chaired by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. “The leaders will discuss ways to further strengthen ASEAN-India engagement and in this context will note the adoption of ASEAN-India Plan of Action (2021-2025).
“The COVID-19, post-pandemic economic recovery and important regional and international developments will also be discussed at the summit,” the MEA said further.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit is taking place amid China’s aggressive behaviour in the disputed South China Sea as well as in with India near its border at the LAC in eastern Ladakh.
The ASEAN grouping is considered as one of the most influential in the region and India and several other countries including the US, China, Japan and Australia are its dialogue partners.
A number of ASEAN countries have territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.
The 10 member countries of ASEAN are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.