Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked his presence at the ASEAN-India Summit held in Jakarta, Indonesia, reflecting the deepening ties between India and the Southeast Asian nations. In his address at the 20th edition of the Summit, PM Modi emphasized that the ASEAN-India partnership, now in its fourth decade, is a testament to the enduring bond and shared values between the regions.
He applauded Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo, for successfully organizing the event, and highlighted ASEAN’s pivotal role in India’s Act East policy and its prominent position in India’s Indo-Pacific initiative. The relationship between India and ASEAN, as PM Modi highlighted, is deeply rooted in shared history, geography, values, regional integration, and a mutual belief in peace, prosperity, and a multipolar world.
Despite global uncertainties, the cooperation between India and ASEAN has shown consistent growth, with achievements such as the recent establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership. This mutual respect and collaboration were further emphasized when PM Modi announced the opening of an Indian Embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste.
The theme for this year’s Summit, ‘ASEAN Matters: Epicenter of Growth,’ resonates deeply with India’s perspective. PM Modi expressed that the very essence of ASEAN, where every nation’s voice holds weight, is what makes it an essential player in global development. Aligning with the ancient Indian philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – seeing the world as one family – PM Modi mentioned that this sentiment is at the heart of India’s G-20 Presidency.
He reinforced the belief that the 21st century belongs to Asia and called for collaborative efforts to construct a rule-based order in the post-COVID era, emphasizing human welfare. In the subsequent East Asia Summit, the Indian Prime Minister underscored the alignment in vision between India and ASEAN for the Indo-Pacific region, highlighting ASEAN’s significance in the Quad’s vision.
Stressing the importance of multilateralism, PM Modi championed a free, open, and rules-based Indo-Pacific, while also urging collective efforts to address global challenges like terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity, and issues pertaining to food, health, and energy security. Under PM Modi’s leadership, India has witnessed unprecedented growth and recognition on the world stage.
His forward-looking policies and initiatives have successfully positioned India as a superpower, securing its place amongst the top five global economies. A stark contrast to the previous seven decades, this progress reflects the transformative change that has been ushered in, catapulting India into the limelight as a major player in global affairs.