« Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking during the 20th ASEAN-India summit hosted by Indonesia, conveyed that the 21st century belongs to Asia in Jakarta on Thursday.
He emphasised the significance of ASEAN in India’s East Policy and its critical role in the Indo-Pacific Initiative.
»The ASEAN Group stands as the epicentre of growth in ASEAN affairs, valuing the inclusion of all voices. ASEAN has played a significant role in global development, reflecting the ideals of unity, shared destiny, and a common future. As we assume the Indian G20 Presidency, we recognise that the 21st century is the century of Asia, » he said.
Modi also reiterated India’s strong support for ASEAN and its central role in the Indo-Pacific region and celebrated the enduring friendship between ASEAN and India, which was elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership the previous year.
He highlighted the resilience of their cooperation across various sectors, highlighting the inclusivity of the ASEAN Group in fostering growth and its significant role in global development.
»Together, we must collectively work towards the well-being of humanity, ensuring freedom and openness in the Indo-Pacific, and amplifying the global voice – a shared interest of ours all, » he concluded.
Joko Widodo, the President of Indonesia, however, acknowledged that while cooperation between ASEAN and India had not yet yielded substantial benefits for the people, it was crucial to enhance this partnership.
« The honourable cooperation between ASEAN and India has yet to yield substantial benefits for the people. However, it is imperative that we work towards enhancing this partnership, particularly given the immense potential of the Indian Ocean. This vast expanse connects 33 countries, with a combined population of 2.9 billion people and contributing to 1/5 of the global GDP by 2025, » expressed Widodo.
Moreover, the Indonesian leader underscored the importance of utilising this potential to advance the blue economy, ensure food security through sustainable marine activities, and address maritime challenges.
The 43rd Summit in Indonesia, the current chair of ASEAN in 2023, includes leaders from ASEAN countries and other non-ASEAN partners and is taking place from September 5-7. »