Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos was deeply appreciated by the leaders of ASEAN countries during their bilateral meetings with him, the external affairs ministry said on Thursday. There was also appreciation for the India growth story as well as for ‘Aadhaar’, steps to contain graft and the country’s efforts to move towards a cashless economy, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs Preeti Saran said.
Saran, while briefing reporters about bilateral meetings Modi had with leaders of six ASEAN countries since Wednesday, said Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte evinced interest in learning from India’s ‘Aadhaar’ project to which Modi expressed readiness to offer help.
Besides Duterte, Modi has held bilateral meetings with leaders of Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei. Leaders of 10 ASEAN countries are here to attend the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit and to attend the Republic Day celebrations.
Saran said the common aspect in all the bilateral meetings was appreciation for Modi’s speech at Davos. “They conveyed their deep appreciation for the Prime Minister’s speech at Davos. It was extremely well received by the leadership of ASEAN, in ASEAN countries, because it has special resonance with each one of them given the subject the PM spoke on,” said Saran.
In Davos, Modi had touched upon a wide range of issues and sent out a strong message against protectionism and inward-focused economic policies. He had said such tendencies can be as dangerous as terrorism.
Saran said during the retreat for the ASEAN leaders, Modi talked about ‘Nari Shakti’ (women power) and in this context referred to Indian Navy’s six-member women crew which is currently on a voyage to circumnavigate the globe. Modi also proposed an all-women team from ASEAN and India for a similar expedition.