PM Modi announces USD one million for COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund

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November 13, 2020 1:14 PM

There are 10 member countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar & Laos.

PM Modi addressed people via video-conferencing and said that the regions of Vindhyachal or Bundelkhand have become ones having many deficiencies despite having many resources.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlines the centrality of ASEAN in India’s Act East Policy, which is a key pillar of the country’s foreign policy and seeks enhancing all kinds of connectivity 10-nation ASEAN grouping. Besides announcing a contribution of USD one million to COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund, he also reiterated India’ offer of USD 1 billion Line of Credit to support ASEAN connectivity. For digital connectivity, he talked about the organisation of the ASEAN-India Hackathon.

At today’s summit, the focus was on a wide range of issues including the impact of the global pandemic COVID-19, connectivity, South China Sea disputes, and trade. Prime Minister Modi, participated in the 17th ASEAN-India Summit at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc, as it is the current chair of ASEAN.

The Strategic Partnership of India & ASEAN is based on the shared geographical, historical and cultural heritage. “We believe a cohesive and responsive ASEAN needed for security and growth for all in the region’, the prime minister said in his address at the 17th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit (ASEAN) virtually.

While comparing the similarity between India’s Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative & ASEAN outlook on Indo-Pacific, the Prime Minister further called “For a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region.” And invited the ASEAN countries to take the lead on various pillars of Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.

Today’s summit assumes importance as it takes place amidst the growing tension between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), as well as China’s growing presence and its aggression in the South China Sea (SCS). Several ASEAN member countries have territorial disputes with China in the SCS.

Later in the evening of November 12, 2020

In her media briefing at the end of the Virtual Summit, Secretary East (MEA) Riva Das said, “The Prime Minister in his discussion called for an early review of ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA), which has been pending for a long time. And, he also underlined the importance of diversification and resilience of supply chains for post-COVID economic recovery.”

Who are the members of ASEAN?

There are 10 member countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar & Laos.

This grouping is considered to be one of the most important and influential groupings in the region. India, and other countries including South Korea, Australia, China, the US and Japan are the dialogue partners. All the ASEAN leaders will have their first summit with the new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

India-ASEAN

In the last few years, the focus has been on strengthening cooperation in the areas of trade & investment, defence & security.

In today’s summit, other member countries welcomed India’s support to the ASEAN’s centrality, capacity building initiatives including the PhD Fellowship Programme at IITs and setting up of Centres for

What was discussed today?

Besides the new ASEAN-India Plan of Action for 2021-2025 being adopted, the discussions between the member countries were focused on regional and international issues of common interest and concern including South China Sea and Terrorism. Also, both sides pushed for a rules-based order in the region which also included upholding adherence to international law, especially the UNCLOS. And they all acknowledged the importance of maintaining and promoting safety and security, peace, and stability in the South China Sea especially in freedom of navigation and overflight.

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