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Regional leaders welcome India’s Act East Policy at ASEAN-India Summit

VGP – Leaders of ASEAN member States and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the 16th ASEAN-India Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on Sunday morning.

November 04, 2019 12:03 AM GMT+7

At the 16th ASEAN-India Summit in Bangkok,Thailand on November 3, 2019. Photo: VGP

At the summit, ASEAN leaders welcomed India’s Act East Policy and its active support for ASEAN’s central role and efforts to boost regional connectivity and build a community.

Modi affirmed India’s strong commitment to ASEAN, stressing that the bloc is at the center of his country’s Act East Policy and Indo-Pacific outlook, and voicing strong support for ASEAN’s Indo-Pacific outlook.

Both sides noted that economic ties between ASEAN and India have been growing well over the past years with the two-way trade reaching US$80.8 billion and India’s direct investment in ASEAN rising to US$1.7 billion last year.

Besides, bilateral cooperation has been strengthened across various areas, bringing about practical benefits to the peoples and businesses of the sides.

The leaders agreed to continue promoting effective cooperation in the spirit of the Delhi Declaration which was adopted at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit marking the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-India dialogue relations, especially in such fields like trade-investment, maritime cooperation and security, infrastructure connectivity and development, innovation, digital economy among others.

The leaders welcomed their economic ministers’ decision to launch review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement in a bid to further exploit their market with total population of more than 2 billion.

They affirmed to coordinate in accelerating the finalization of negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as planned.

Both ASEAN and India agreed to foster efforts in promoting dialogue, cooperation, trust building, and formation of and compliance with standards of conduct, thus contributing to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.

Modi shared his grave concerns over the complex developments in the East Sea, including the militarization and other actions that run counter to international law of the sea.

He reiterated his country’s support for ASEAN’s stance while calling for adherence to international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and voicing support for efforts to build an efficient and effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea in accordance with international law.

Speaking at the summit, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc shared other leaders’ view on the advancements of the ASEAN-India strategic partnership over the past time.

Phuc emphasized the importance of maintaining maritime security and stability, including in the East Sea-one of the key shipping routes of the world.

The Vietnamese Government chief reaffirmed ASEAN’s principled stance on the East Sea, underlining the need to push up dialogue, build trust, form and share standards of conduct, seriously and fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and build an efficient and effective COC in line with international law in order to make the East Sea the sea of peace, cooperation and prosperity./.

By Huong Giang