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In Jakarta, PM Modi calls for a new rules based post-Covid order — says ASEAN India partnership key to rise of Asian century

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with ASEAN leaders during the 20th ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta Thursday morning (Image courtesy: MEA)

Calling Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) the “centre point” of India’s ‘Act East’ policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the region will also play a key role in India’s Indo-Pacific initiative.

Addressing the 20th ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta Thursday morning just a few hours after his arrival from New Delhi, PM Modi mentioned that even in the current environment of global uncertainties, the mutual cooperation between India and ASEAN countries continues to make a steady progress which stands as a testimony to the strength and resilience of the longstanding relationship.

In his brief remarks, PM Modi called for a new rule-based post-Covid world order, implying that the world cannot be run by old rules written mainly be the West in an earlier era.

India is positioning itself as a major pole in the multipolar world, and therefore has to be a stakeholder in defining a new rules based order, where the voice of the Global South is prominently heard.

PM Modi also made it plain that India-ASEAN partnership would be central to the rise of Asia in the 21st century.

“History and geography unites India and ASEAN. Along with it, our shared values, regional integration, and our shared belief in peace, prosperity and multipolar world also unites us,” stated PM Modi at the Jakarta Convention Centre.

“This year’s theme is ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth. ASEAN matters because here everyone’s voice is heard and ASEAN is epicentrum of growth because ASEAN plays an important role in global growth,” he added.

PM Modi remarked that it is an “honour” for him to co-chair the Summit as India-ASEAN partnership entered its fourth decade.

In view of strengthening the ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the meeting reviewed the progress made under ASEAN-India dialogue relations and welcomed the adoption of the Annex to the Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity (2021-2025).

Reiterating both sides’ shared vision for a peaceful, stable, prosperous, rules-based, open and inclusive region, the leaders of ASEAN and India also adopted the ASEAN-India Joint Statement on Maritime Cooperation.

In his departure statement Wedensday evening, PM Modi had mentioned that engagement with ASEAN is an important pillar of India’s Act East policy and the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership entered into last year has injected new dynamism in ties.

After the ASEAN-India Summit, Prime Minister Modi will attend the East Asia Summit where he will be exchanging views with other leaders of the region on practical cooperation measures to collectively address the global challenges, including food and energy security, environment, health, and digital transformation.

Prime Minister Modi will then return home later in the day, just ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit which begins in New Delhi from Friday.

His decision to travel to Indonesia just ahead of the significant G20 summit in New Delhi sends a strong message on the value India attaches to engagement with the countries of the Southeast Asian region and its vision for the wider Indo-Pacific under the current geopolitical scenario.

In spite of arriving in Jakarta in the wee hours of Thursday, Prime Minister Modi was given a rousing welcome by the Indian community who had waited all night to catch a glimpse of the leader.

Also Read: PM Modi leaves for Indonesia, to hold discussions with ASEAN leaders before G20 Summit in New Delhi