New Delhi [India], Sept. 7 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi departed for Laos's capital Vientiane today to attend the 14th Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN-India Summit.
In his pre-departure message, the Prime Minister has said that ASEAN is a key partner for India's Act East Policy, which is vital for the economic development of country's North-eastern region.
In a Facebook post, he said, strategic partnership with ASEAN is also important for safeguarding and promoting India's security interests and countering traditional and non-traditional security challenges in the region.
On East Asia Summit, the Prime Minister said, it is the premier forum for discussions on the challenges and opportunities before the Asia Pacific region.
He also said, India's ties with the countries of South East Asia are truly historic and country's engagement and approach can be best encapsulated in just one word - connectivity.
"India wants to enhance physical and digital connectivity in the region, enhance people to people links and also strengthen institutional linkages and leverage the modern interconnected world for the mutual benefit of the people in the region," he said.
The Prime Minister will attend the 11th East Asia Summit on Thursday on whose sidelines, he will hold bilateral meetings with several leaders.
India's engagement with ASEAN and the wider Asia Pacific Region has acquired further momentum following the enunciation of the Act East Policy by the Prime Minister.
Indian Ambassador to ASEAN Suresh Kumar Reddy told the media that the ASEAN summit is expected to set the agenda for further strengthening the ties which will help India to achieve its objectives for Socio-Economic Growth.
Reddy further said that the summit will provide valuable partners to India who can bring technology, resources and who can support Indian industries, adding that the areas in which further cooperation between India (and) ASEAN countries are required are Agriculture, Climate Change, Non-traditional security areas, and cyber crimes and strengthening connectivity.
During the summit, the world leaders will review the progress of implementation of the ASEAN Community Blueprints 2025.
The ASEAN leaders are scheduled to meet the heads of state, government of ASEAN dialogue partners which include China, India, Japan, Korea, Australia and the United States.