Join Indo-Pacific initiative, Modi tells ASEAN nations

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 28

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked ASEAN countries to come on board India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans initiative (IPOI) to build upon its convergence with the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

Speaking at the India-ASEAN summit, the PM invited the ASEAN nations to join any of the seven pillars of the IPOI and mentioned that Indonesia was already on board on the pillar of marine resources. A joint statement issued after the virtual summit would help both sides chart the way forward in the implementation of the convergences that exist between the AOIP and IPOI, said MEA’s Secretary (East) Riva Ganguly Das.

Narendra Modi, PM

The seven central pillars of the AOIP are maritime security, maritime ecology, maritime resources, capacity building, disaster risk reduction, S&T cooperation and trade connectivity.

“India’s IPO and ASEAN’s Outlook for the Indo-Pacific are the framework for our shared vision and mutual cooperation,” the PM said.

He underlined the centrality of ASEAN in India’s vision for a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region. He assured ASEAN of India’s support, exemplified most recently through the contribution of medical supplies worth $200,000 for Myanmar and $1 million for ASEAN’s Covid response fund.

The MEA Secretary said the PM highlighted the importance of greater physical and digital connectivity between ASEAN and India and called for an early review of the ASEAN-India trade in goods agreement, which had been pending for a long time.

Focus on strong ties

We all had to deal with many challenges due to the pandemic…but our mutual cooperation will continue to strengthen our relationship and will be the basis of goodwill among our people. Narendra Modi, PM

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