Excellency, Prime Minister Nguyen Suwon Phuc,
Like every year, we could not take our traditional Family Photo by holding each other’s hand! But still I am happy that we all are meeting via virtual medium.
First of all, I have all praise for Vietnam, the current Chair of ASEAN, and Thailand, India’s current country coordinator in ASEAN. Despite the COVID led painful problems, you have fulfilled your responsibilities well.
India and ASEAN’s Strategic Partnership is based on our shared rich historical, geographical and cultural heritage. The ASEAN Group is the nodal center of our Act East Policy since the very beginning.
There is ample closeness between India’s “Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative” and ASEAN’s “Outlook on Indo Pacific”. We firmly believe that a “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN” is essential for “Security and Growth for All in the Region”.
Speeding up all types of connectivity initiatives between India and ASEAN – physical, economic, social, digital, financial, maritime – is the top priority for us.
We have come very close in all these areas in the last few years. I believe that today’s interaction, even if it is happening via virtual medium, will be advantageous in further reducing our differences.
I once again thank all of you for today’s interaction.
Delhi, November 12, 2020