New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the 18th ASEAN-India Summit to be held virtually on October 28, 2021, at the invitation of the Sultan of Brunei. The Summit will be attended by Heads of State/Government of the ASEAN Countries.
At the 16th East Asia Summit, leaders will discuss regional and international interests and matters, including maritime security, terrorism, and Covid-19 cooperation.
The 18th ASEAN-India Summit will review the status of the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership and take stock of progress made in key areas including Covid-19, Health, Trade & Commerce, Connectivity, and Education and Culture.
At the ASEAN-India Summit, important regional and international developments, including post-pandemic economic recovery, will also be discussed, an MEA release said.
The ASEAN-India Summits are held annually and provide an opportunity for India and ASEAN to engage at the highest level.
Prime Minister Modi has attended the 17th ASEAN-India Summit held virtually in November last year. The 18th ASEAN-India Summit will be the ninth ASEAN-India Summit to be attended by Mr Modi.
The MEA release also said that the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership is a strong foundation of shared geographical, historical and civilizational ties.
ASEAN is central to India's Act East Policy and its "wider vision of the Indo-Pacific".
The year 2022 will also mark 30 years of ASEAN-India relations. India and ASEAN have several dialogue mechanisms which meet regularly, including a Summit, Ministerial meetings and Senior Officials' meetings.
External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar also virtually attended the ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting and EAS Foreign Ministers' Meeting in August 2021.
Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Ms Anupriya Patel, attended the ASEAN Economic Ministers + India Consultations held virtually in September 2021. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen economic cooperation.
The MEA stated that the Prime Minister would also attend the 16th East Asia Summit scheduled to be held on October 27 virtually.
The East Asia Summit is the premier Leaders-led forum in the Indo-Pacific. Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in East Asia's strategic and geopolitical evolution. Apart from the 10 ASEAN Member states, East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.
Being a founding member of the East Asia Summit, India is committed to strengthening the East Asia Summit and making it more effective for dealing with contemporary challenges.
The statement said it is also an important platform for furthering practical cooperation in the Indo-Pacific by building upon the convergence between ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and Indo-Pacific Ocean's Initiative (IPOI).
Leaders are also expected to accept declarations on Mental Health, Economic recovery through Tourism and Green Recovery, which India co-sponsored.