ASEAN-India Partnership Redefined: PM Modi’s Vision Unveiled 2023

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Key Remarks at ASEAN-India Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia on 7th September 2023.

In his speech at the 20th ASEAN-India summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the significance of the India-ASEAN partnership entering its fourth decade. He expressed his honor at co-chairing the summit and congratulated Indonesian President Joko Widodo for hosting it.

Mr. Modi stressed the pivotal role of ASEAN in India’s Act East policy and its importance in India’s Indo Pacific initiative. He also called for amplifying the voices of the global south. The Prime Minister highlighted the celebration of last year’s India-ASEAN friendship day and its elevation to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

He underlined the unity between India and ASEAN through their history, geography, shared values, and a common belief in peace, prosperity, and a multipolar world.

Despite global uncertainties, Mr. Modi noted the consistent progress in India-ASEAN mutual cooperation. He announced the opening of an Indian Embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste during the summit.

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The theme of this year’s ASEAN Summit is ‘ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth,’ emphasizing the importance of ASEAN’s role in global development and the inclusion of all voices within the group.

Mr. Modi also highlighted the theme ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – one earth, one family, one future,’ which aligns with India’s G-20 Presidency. He stressed that the 21st century belongs to Asia and emphasized the need for a rule-based post-COVID world order and collective efforts for human welfare.

The Prime Minister participated in the East Asia Summit, where discussions revolved around enhancing cooperation in key areas to empower humanity. He emphasized the convergence of vision between India and ASEAN in the Indo-Pacific region and highlighted ASEAN’s central role in the Quad’s vision. He called for the strengthening of multilateralism and the establishment of a free, open, and rules-based Indo-Pacific.

Mr. Modi also urged collective action on global issues, including terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity, and challenges related to food, health, and energy security.

During the summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a 12-point plan to strengthen India-ASEAN cooperation. This plan covered areas such as connectivity, digital transformation, trade and economic engagement, and addressing contemporary challenges. He also proposed the establishment of a multi-modal connectivity and economic corridor linking South-East Asia-India-West Asia-Europe.

Mr. Modi offered to share India’s Digital Public Infrastructure Stack with ASEAN partners and announced the creation of the ASEAN-India fund for Digital Future. He renewed support for the Economic and Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) as a knowledge partner.

The Prime Minister invited ASEAN countries to join the Global Centre for Traditional Medicine being established by WHO in India and proposed cooperation on Mission LiFE. He offered to share India’s experience in providing affordable and quality medicines through Jan-Aushadhi Kendras.

Mr. Modi called for collective action against terrorism, terror financing, and cyber-disinformation and invited ASEAN countries to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. He also emphasized cooperation in disaster management and enhanced maritime safety, security, and domain awareness. Two joint statements, one on Maritime Cooperation and the other on Food Security, were adopted.

Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Saurabh Kumar, described the Prime Minister’s visit as short but highly productive. He anticipated that the Prime Minister’s participation in the summit would provide strategic direction to the India-ASEAN relationship. Discussions during the visit covered various areas, including connectivity, maritime cooperation, digital transformation, trade and economy, environment, health, and medicine.

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