Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Manila on Sunday to take part in the 50th edition of the ASEAN Summit and, also, the East Asia Summit. Modi attended the Gala dinner organised for world leaders and briefly met with US President Donald Trump, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Malaysian PM Najib Razak.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to meet several world leaders including US President Donald Trump, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and the Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah starting Monday.
PM Modi, on Monday, will hold a 45-minute long bilateral meeting with the US President. Trump has recently praised Modi and his government on India’s “astounding” growth story. India has a major strategic role in the region, as China pushes forward with its military might. Countries like France and Japan have been advocating for increased cooperation with India in the Indo-Pacific region.
India’s proposal to host an international conference on countering radicalisation may also be discussed during the deliberations at Manila. Dates for the conclave are likely to be finalised during the mega-summit.
The three-day visit to the south-east Asian nation will see PM Modi pushing for an increase in global efforts to deal with the rising challenges of terrorism and radicalisation, besides strengthening relations for enhanced regional trade.
While the ASEAN summit is likely to focus more on trade and investment-related issues, leaders at the East Asia Summit are expected to delve deep into issues relating to maritime security, terrorism, non-proliferation and migration. Modi will address the ASEAN-India and East Asia summits on Tuesday. PM would also take part in special celebrations of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.
The ASEAN region, along with India, comprises the combined population of 1.85 billion people, which is one-fourth of the global population and their combined GDP has been estimated at over $3.8 trillion. Investment from ASEAN to India has been over $70 billion in the last 17 years accounting for more than 17 per cent of India’s total FDI.
Modi, before leaving for Manila on Saturday, said that India’s participation in the summit symbolises its commitment to continue strengthening relations with the ASEAN members and with the Indo-Pacific region. Modi stressed that the summit was within the framework of his government’s Act East Policy.
Besides meeting his counterparts, Modi will also meet and interact with the Indian diaspora in the Philippines, and visit the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Mahavir Philippines Foundation.
(With inputs from PTI)