PM Modi : India’s age-old ties with South-East Asia provides a unique envelope

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, although the India-ASEAN partnership is only 25 years old, but India’s ties with Southeast Asia stretch back more than two millennia. He said, forged in peace and friendship, religion and culture, art and commerce, language and literature, these enduring links are now present in every facet of the magnificent diversity of India and Southeast Asia, providing a unique envelope of comfort and familiarity between our people.

Mr. Modi has shared his vision about ASEAN-India partnership in an op-ed piece titled, “ ASEAN-India: Shared values, common destiny”. The article has been published in the leading dailies from the ASEAN member nations.

The Prime Minister said, more than two decades ago, India opened itself to the world with tectonic changes and with instincts honed over centuries, it turned naturally to the East and thus began a new journey of India’s reintegration with the East.

He added that for India, most of its major partners and markets from ASEAN and East Asia to North America lie to the East. He said, Southeast Asia and ASEAN and its neighbours by land and sea, have been the springboard of its Look East and, for the last three years, the Act East Policy.

The Prime Minister said, along the way, from dialogue partners, ASEAN and India have become strategic partners and advance their broad-based partnership through 30 mechanisms. He said, with each ASEAN member, they have growing diplomatic, economic and security partnership and work together to keep their seas safe and secure. He said, the trade and investment flows have multiplied several times and ASEAN is India’s fourth largest trading partner and India is ASEAN’s seventh.

Prime Minister Modi also thanked leaders of ASEAN nations for participating in the Republic Day celebrations. He said, their presence with people of India is an unprecedented gesture of goodwill from ASEAN nations.

The Prime Minister said, he had the privilege to host the ASEAN leaders yesterday for the Commemorative Summit to mark 25 years of ASEAN -India partnership. Mr Modi said, this is no ordinary event and it is a historic milestone in a remarkable journey that has brought India and ASEAN to a deepening partnership of great promise for their 1.9 billion people, about one-fourth of humankind.

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