The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today addressed the ASEAN-India Summit in Kuala Lumpur.
“We meet at a time of multiple global challenges: economic uncertainties, political turmoil and security threats. In this difficult moment, India and ASEAN are two bright spots of optimism,” the Prime Minister said in his opening statement at the summit.
“The scale of transformation in India is vast; so, the size of economic opportunities in India are huge. And, we now have environment that is open and welcoming. This is reflected in the sharp jump in India’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business. And, we will continue with our reforms with speed and boldness. ASEAN’s economy continues to forge ahead with dynamism and energy. I have no doubt that we will reinforce prosperity for our 1.9 billion people,” the Prime Minister said.
“Connectivity is the pathway to shared prosperity. The Trilateral Highway project is making good progress and should be completed by 2018,” the Prime Minister said.
“We will enlarge the ASEAN-India Science and Technology Development Fund from the current one million U.S. dollars to 5 million U.S. dollars. We also intend to set up an ASEAN-India Innovation Platform to facilitate commercialization of low cost technologies, technology transfer and collaborative R&D projects,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister met the Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Li Keqiang, on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.
Both sides reviewed the global scenario with regard to the economic slowdown, climate change and international terrorism. The Chinese Premier observed that India had maintained its growth momentum despite the slowdown. Both sides reviewed the preparations for the CoP-21 conference in Paris. Shri Narendra Modi briefed the Chinese Premier on the solar alliance initiative, and invited China to join it. Both sides agreed that terrorism is the biggest challenge, and the international community must come together to counter it.
Bilaterally, both sides discussed trade and investment, with the Prime Minister once again reiterating the concern over India’s large trade deficit with China. Cooperation in the area of skill development was discussed. The Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe, hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over lunch. Mr. Shinzo Abe reiterated that the India-Japan bilateral relationship has the greatest potential of any bilateral relationship across the world. The Prime Minister acknowledged the Japanese Prime Minister’s vision for the bilateral relationship, and said he looks forward to the visit of Mr. Shinzo Abe to India. The Prime Minister said that Japan was partnering India in a number of initiatives such as the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), which had transformative potential. Regional connectivity, maritime security, the upcoming CoP-21 conference, reform of the UN Security Council, and the issue of terrorism were some of the other subjects that came up for discussion.