Jakarta: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for a collective voice over the issues being faced by the Global South in multilateral fora and unveiled 12 point agenda for strengthening India-ASEAN cooperation in various areas of common interest.
Addressing the 20th ASEAN-India Summit in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, Modi said the two sides have a common interest in amplifying the voices of the global south and ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.”India is determined to work together with all ASEAN members to achieve these goals,” he said.
He said, “The progress of a free and open Indo-Pacific and elevating the voice of the Global South is in the common interest of all”.
Prime Minister also highlighted the synergies between India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI) and ASEAN’s Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
He also emphasised the need to complete the review of the ASEAN-India FTA (AITIGA) in a time-bound manner.
Prime Minister also offered to establish the multi-modal connectivity and economic corridor that links Southeast Asia, India, West Asia, and Europe.
During his remarks, PM Modi also announced the ASEAN-India Fund for the Digital Future, focusing on cooperation in digital transformation and financial connectivity.
He also offered to share India’s digital public infrastructure stack with ASEAN partners.
On the militancy issue, Prime Minister Modi called for a collective fight against terrorism, terror financing, and cyber-disinformation.
He invited ASEAN countries to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and also called for cooperation in disaster management and enhanced cooperation on maritime safety, security, and domain awareness.
Two joint statements, one on maritime cooperation and the other on food security, were adopted during the summit.
Modi said ASEAN is a central pillar of India’s Act East policy, and ASEAN has an important place in India’s Indo-Pacific initiative.
Prime Minister said that last year India-ASEAN Friendship Day was celebrated and gave it a form of comprehensive strategic partnership.
He said history and geography unite India and ASEAN, adding that with them, shared values, regional integration, and the shared belief in peace, prosperity, and a multipolar world also unite India and ASEAN”.
The Prime Minister said, “There has been consistent progress in India-ASEAN mutual cooperation in spite of the atmosphere of global uncertainty”.
At the ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta, Modi announced to open Indian Embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste.
The theme of this year’s ASEAN Summit is ‘ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth.
PM Modi said ASEAN matters because in the grouping everyone’s voice is heard, and ASEAN is the epicentre of growth because the ASEAN region plays a crucial role in global development.
Prime Minister also attended the 18th East Asia Summit. Modi said, productive discussions were held at the summit on enhancing closer cooperation in key areas to further human empowerment.
At the summit, Prime reiterated the importance of the EAS mechanism and reaffirmed our support for further strengthening it.
Prime Minister underlined India’s support for ASEAN centrality and called for ensuring a free, open, and rules-based Indo-Pacific.
He also highlighted synergies in visions for the Indo-Pacific between India and ASEAN, and underscored that ASEAN is the focal point of Quad’s vision.
Prime Minister also called for a cooperative approach to address global challenges including terrorism, climate change, resilient supply chains for essential items including food and medicines, and energy security.
He highlighted India’s steps in the area of climate change and our initiatives such as ISA, CDRI, LIFE, and OSOWOG.