NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend virtually the annual ASEAN-India summit on Thursday that will review the status of strategic partnership between the two sides and take stock of progress made in areas of trade and investment, post-COVID-19 economic recovery and connectivity.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Modi will also attend the 16th East Asia Summit to be held virtually on Wednesday that will discuss matters of regional and international interest and concern including maritime security and terrorism.
The 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is considered one of the most influential groupings in the region, and India and several other countries, including the US, China, Japan and Australia, are its dialogue partners.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend 18th ASEAN-India Summit to be held virtually on October 28 at the invitation of Sultan of Brunei,” the MEA said.
The ties between India and ASEAN have been on an upswing in the last few years with the focus being on ramping up cooperation in the areas of trade and investment as well as security and defence.
The East Asia Summit is the premier forum in the Asia-Pacific region to deal with issues relating to security and defence.
Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in the strategic, geopolitical and economic evolution of East Asia.
Apart from the ASEAN member states, the East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.
The MEA said the ASEAN-India summit will be attended by heads of state and government of the member countries of the grouping.
“The 18th ASEAN-India Summit will review the status of ASEAN-India strategic partnership and take stock of progress made in key areas including COVID-19 and health, trade and commerce, connectivity, and education and culture,” the MEA said in a statement.
It said important regional and international developments including post-pandemic economic recovery will also be discussed. The two sides are also expected to review the maritime security scenario in the Indo-Pacific and the South China Sea.
Modi attended the 17th ASEAN-India summit held virtually in November last year. The upcoming summit will be the ninth ASEAN-India summit to be attended by him.
“ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership stands on a strong foundation of shared geographical, historical and civilizational ties. ASEAN is central to our Act East Policy and our wider vision of the Indo-Pacific,” the MEA said.
The year 2022 will mark 30 years of ASEAN-India relations. The East Asia Summit is the premier Leaders-led forum in the Indo-Pacific.
Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in the strategic and geopolitical evolution of East Asia. “India, being a founding member of the East Asia Summit, is committed to strengthening the East Asia Summit and making it more effective for dealing with contemporary challenges,” the MEA said.
“It is also an important platform for furthering practical cooperation in the Indo-Pacific by building upon the convergence between ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative (IPOI),” it said.
The MEA said the 16th East Asia Summit will discuss matters of regional and international interest and concern including maritime security and terrorism.
It said the leaders are also expected to accept declarations on mental health, economic recovery through tourism and green recovery, which are being co-sponsored by India.