At ASEAN-India Summit, PM Modi calls for rules-based post-Covid world order

The prime minister described ASEAN as the epicentre of growth, saying it plays a crucial role in global development.

Published: 07th September 2023 11:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th September 2023 11:57 AM   |  A+A-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends the 20th ASEAN-India Summit, in Jakarta, on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023. (Photo | PTI)


JAKARTA: Calling for building a rules-based post-COVID world order, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday 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.

In his address at the annual ASEAN-India summit here in the Indonesian capital, Modi described the 10-nation grouping as the epicentre of growth as the region plays a crucial role in global development.

The prime minister said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) holds a prominent place in India's Indo-Pacific initiative and that New Delhi is committed to working "shoulder to shoulder" with it.

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. India supports the ASEAN outlook on Indo-Pacific, Modi told the leaders of the grouping.

"The 21st century is Asia's century. It is our century. For this, it is necessary to build a rule-based post-COVID world order and efforts by all for human welfare," the prime minister, co-chairing the summit, said.

"The progress of free and open Indo-Pacific and elevating the voice of the Global South is in the common interest of all," he said.

The prime minister also reaffirmed that ASEAN is the central pillar of India's Act East Policy and it fully supports ASEAN centrality and its outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

"Our history and geography connect India and ASEAN. Along with shared values, regional unity, peace, prosperity, and a shared belief in a multipolar world also binds us together," he said, adding the grouping holds a "prominent place" in India's Indo-Pacific initiative.

It was the first summit between the two sides since the elevation of their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership last year.

"Today, even in an environment of global uncertainties, there is continuous progress in every field in our mutual cooperation. This is a testament to the strength and resilience of our relationship."

In his opening remarks, Modi said: "ASEAN matters because here everyone's voice is heard, and ASEAN is the epicentre of growth because the ASEAN region plays a crucial role in global development."

"'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' -- 'one earth, one family, one future', this sentiment is also the theme of India's G-20 Presidency," Modi noted.

ASEAN-India dialogue relations started with the establishment of a sectoral partnership in 1992.

This graduated to a full dialogue partnership in December 1995 and a summit-level partnership in 2002. The ties were elevated to a strategic partnership in 2012.

The 10 member countries of ASEAN are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The ties between India and ASEAN have been on a significant upswing in the last few years with the focus being on boosting cooperation in the areas of trade and investment as well as security and defence.

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