Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held bilateral meetings with three ASEAN leaders, including his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and discussed key bilateral and regional issues.
After the meeting between Modi and the Myanmarese leader, external affairs ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted, “The two leaders had a productive discussion on intensifying bilateral cooperation, including follow up on key decisions taken during PM’s visit to Myanmar in September 2017.”
Wednesday’s meeting came nearly a month after India and Myanmar inked an agreement on restoration of normalcy and the development of the Rakhine State, from where thousands of Rohingya Muslims recently fled following incidents of violence against the community.
Signed during Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s visit to Myanmar, the pact was the first government to government agreement by Myanmar with a cooperation partner focused on socio-economic development and livelihood initiatives in the Rakhine State.
The prime minister also met his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc and discussed boosting of ties in key areas of trade, investment and defence among others.
“Long standing traditional and strategic partnership! The prime minister met with Vietnamese PM Nguyen Phuc. Discussed cooperation in trade and investment, defence, maritime and other areas. Agreements were signed in areas of Information and Broadcasting and Space cooperation,” Kumar said.
An MoU between India’s ministry of information and broadcasting and ministry of information and communications of Vietnam was also signed.
The agreement was inked to enhance cooperation in the field of information and broadcasting based on the principles of equality and reciprocity.
An implementation arrangement was also made between India’s Space Research Organisation and Vietnam’s National Remote Sensing Department for establishing tracking and data reception station and data processing facility in Vietnam under the ASEAN-India Space Cooperation.
“This would define the framework and conditions of cooperation for establishment of facility to provide Indian remote sensing satellite data over ASEAN region to enable remote sensing applications, which include natural resources management, ocean development and disaster management by ASEAN member states,” an external affairs ministry release said.
Later, Modi also met Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Adding momentum to the close relationship! PM @narendramodi met with President of Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. Trade and investment, defence & security, education and people-to-people cooperation were discussed. An agreement to facilitate investment was signed,” Kumar tweeted with photos of the meeting.
After the Modi-Duterte meeting, a pact between Invest India and the Board of Investments of the Philippines was inked, the release said.
This MoU aims to facilitate direct investment between our two countries by providing practical investment information to enterprises, promote direct investment opportunities, and support the companies pursuing those opportunities to contribute positively towards economic growth, it said.
The highest-level of participation at the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit, to mark the 25 years of Indo-ASEAN ties, comes in the backdrop of increasing Chinese economic and military assertiveness in the region.
Some experts feel that the meet can be an opportunity for India to present itself as a powerful ally to these countries in the strategic areas of trade and connectivity.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations comprises Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.
All the 10 ASEAN leaders will also be the chief guests at the Republic Day parade.