India has said that it wants to see a strong, unified and prosperous ASEAN playing a central role in the emerging dynamic of the Indo-Pacific as it contributes to the country’s prosperity and security as well.
Addressing foreign ministers of the ASEAN member states here in the Thai capital, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India’s engagement with the 10-member regional grouping has been, and will remain, a critical element of the country’s ‘Act East’ policy and strategy.
“Acting East is now also a means to implement our Indo-Pacific Outlook - that is its logical extrapolation,” Jaishankar said on Thursday, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.
He noted that for India, the ASEAN is a region of great importance. It is associated with a fundamental policy choice we made some decades ago. The ASEAN comprise of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.
“It is not just an important ‘gateway’ into and out of the Indian Ocean region but also one of the most economically and politically dynamic regions of the world today,” Jaishankar said.
“We want to see a strong, unified and prosperous ASEAN playing a central role in the emerging dynamic of the Indo-Pacific as it contributes to India’s prosperity and security as well,” he said.
He recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi enunciated at the Shangri La Dialogue in June 2018 of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific, of which India is an important part.