ASEAN summit begins online meetings with regional leaders

ASEAN summit begins online meetings with regional leaders

"We firmly believe that a cohesive and responsive Asean is essential for security and growth for all in the region", Modi said, adding that the 10-member south-east Asian group was the nodal centre of India's Act East Policy.

"The President expressed ASEAN's appreciation to China for its pledge to contribute to the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund, another cooperation, initiatives for Public Health Emergencies and its support to ASEAN's Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies and provisions for assistance to ASEAN member-states", he said.

At the Asean-South Korea summit, PM Lee said strengthening economic cooperation would help in the countries' recovery.

In his opening remarks at the 17th ASEAN-India Summit, he said that improving connectivity between India and ASEAN has been a priority area.

"There are many similarities between India's Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative" and ASEAN's "Outlook on Indo Pacific'", the prime minister said at the India-ASEAN virtual summit.

On Covid-19, Modi stressed on leveraging strong ASEAN-India ties in the fight against the pandemic.

At the Asean-India summit, PM Lee said: "We understand India's decision not to sign the RCEP at this time".

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Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said he is pleased that officials from both sides have agreed on the way forward for the review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA).

Against the backdrop of shrinking world trade, economic recession and serious impacts on people-to-people exchanges, China-ASEAN trade grew against the trend in the first three quarters of this year, with China's investment in ASEAN increasing by more than 70 percent year-on-year and ASEAN becoming China's largest trading partner, he went on.

"The leaders will discuss ways to further strengthen ASEAN-India engagement and in this context will note the adoption of ASEAN-India Plan of Action (2021-2025)".

"This year, peace and security have been facing greater threat as the result of compounding risk rising from the unpredictable conduct of states, major power rivalry and frictions that challenged the global multilateral system, increasingly non-traditional security issues and the rise of extremist tendency", Phuc said in front of some 200 Vietnamese officials and foreign diplomats of ASEAN's partners attending the ceremony in Hanoi.

"Strategic Partnership of India and ASEAN is based on our shared historical, geographical and cultural heritage".

The relationship was further elevated with the convening of the ASEAN-India Summit in 2002 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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