17th India-ASEAN summit today, PM Narendra Modi to co-chair, focus on economy revival and strategic relationships
On Thursday, India is participating in the 17th ASEAN summit with 10 nations. The summit will be co-chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The prime focus of summit is expected to measures required to recover from the economic mayhem and tumult in the region due to coronavirus pandemic. Also, PM Modi is going to stress on the ways to broaden the strategic ties between the nations.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday that summit is going to provide an opportunity to review the status of strategic relationship of India-ASEAN. Furthermore, it will help assess the progress made till now on multiple facets like maritime operation, connectivity, education, trade and commerce, and capacity building.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members include Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore and Vietnam. ASEAN is considered as key and most influential group in the region, with its dialogue partners including India, US, Japan, China and Australia.
The importance of this summit is crucial at this point of time when China is continuing with its aggressive behaviour and authoritarian control in the disputed South China Sea region and also eastern Ladakh. It must be noted that several ASEAN nation members have ongoing disputes with China over territories in South China Sea.
MEA said in a statement released on Wednesday, “The leaders wil discuss ways to further strengthen ASEAN-India engagement and in this context will note the adoption of ASEAN-India Plan of Action (2021 2025). Covid-19, post-pandemic economic recovery and important regional and international developments will also be discussed at the summit.”
With spotlight increasing on Indo-Pacific region as global dynamics change, the relationship between India and ASEAN is set to strengthenand pan across various fields.
MEA added, “ASEAN-India strategic partnership stands on a stron foundation of shared geographical, historical and civilizational ties. India’s Act East Policy, underlining ASEAN centrality, reflects the importance, Indi attaches to engagement with ASEAN.”