Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented a brief blueprint for further expansion of India’s multi-sectoral engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), one of the most influential groupings for trade and investment globally.
In his opening address at the India-ASEAN summit, the prime minister said enhancing surface, air and maritime connectivity between India and 10 nations of the bloc will significantly boost regional trade and economic growth. Modi said there was an opportunity for boosting cooperation in the maritime security sphere and the blue economy as well as in areas of agriculture, engineering, digital technology, and scientific research.
The prime minister also welcomed convergence of views between India and ASEAN for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. “India’s Act East policy is an important part of our Indo-Pacific vision and ASEAN lies at the core of it. Integrated and economically vibrant ASEAN is in the interest of India,” Modi said in presence of leaders of ASEAN countries. 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.