Prime Minister Narendra Modi will actually attend the annual ASEAN-India summit on Thursday which will review the state of the strategic partnership between the two sides and assess the progress made in the areas of trade, investment, economic recovery and communication after COVID-19. The Ministry of External Affairs said Modi will also attend the 16th East Asia Summit which will actually take place on Wednesday and which will discuss issues of regional and international concern including maritime security and terrorism.

The 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is one of the most influential groupings in the region, and India and many other countries, including the United States, China, Japan and Australia, are the dialogue partners. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the 18th ASEAN-India Summit which will actually take place on October 28 at the invitation of the Sultan of Brunei,” the ministry said.

Relations between India and ASEAN have been on a revival in the past few years with the focus on intensifying cooperation in the areas of trade and investment as well as security and defence. The East Asia Summit is the main forum in the Asia-Pacific region for dealing with issues related to security and defense. Since its establishment in 2005, it has played an important role in the strategic, geopolitical and economic development of East Asia.

In addition to the ASEAN member countries, the East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia. The ASEAN-India summit will be attended by heads of state and government of the group’s member states, the agency said.

“The 18th ASEAN-India Summit will review the status of the ASEAN-India strategic partnership and assess progress in key areas including COVID-19, health, trade, communication, education and culture,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement. Important regional and international developments, including the post-pandemic economic recovery, will also be discussed, the statement said.

The two sides are expected to review the maritime security scenario in the Indo-Pacific and South China Sea. Modi attended the 17th ASEAN-India Summit which was actually held in November last year. The upcoming summit will be the ninth ASEAN-India summit he will attend. The strategic partnership between ASEAN and India is based on a strong foundation of common geographical, historical and civilizational relations. ASEAN is central to our policy towards the East and our broader vision for the Indo-Pacific.”

2022 will mark the 30th anniversary of relations between ASEAN and India. The East Asia Summit is the premier forum led by leaders in the Indo-Pacific region. Since its establishment in 2005, it has played an important role in the strategic and geopolitical development of East Asia.

“India, as a founding member of the EAS, is committed to strengthening the EAS and making it more effective in dealing with contemporary challenges,” the MEA said.

“It is also an important platform for promoting practical cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region by building on the convergence of the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Outlook (AOIP) and the Indo-Pacific Initiative (IPOI),” she said.

The agency said that the sixteenth East Asia Summit will discuss issues of regional and international interest and concern, including maritime security and terrorism.

She said leaders are also expected to accept announcements related to mental health and economic recovery through tourism and green recovery, which is co-sponsored by India.

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