NAY PYI TAW (TIP): Asserting that there are “no irritants” in the India- ASEAN relationship, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday told ASEAN leaders that a new era of economic development, industrialisation and trade has begun in India and they can be “great partners” for each other. As India seeks to deepen its engagement with the 10-nation bloc of small and medium economies, Modi said both India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are keen to enhance their cooperation in advancing balance, peace and stability in the region. “The ASEAN community is India’s neighbour.

We have ancient relations of trade, religion, culture, art and traditions. We have enriched each other through our interaction. This constitutes a strong foundation of a modern relationship,” Modi said in his opening statement in Hindi at the 12th India—ASEAN summit in the Myanmarese capital. “That is why our world view is similar in many respects; our mutual confidence and trust is strong.

We have no irritants in our relationship. We see encouraging opportunities and challenges in the world in similar ways,” he said. Observing that India and the ASEAN have been successful to a considerable extent in pursuing their dreams, Modi said they have laid a foundation for a strong and comprehensive strategic partnership. “My government has been in office for six months and the intensity and momentum with which we have enhanced our engagement in the East, is a reflection of the priority that we give to this region,” the Prime Minister said at the summit held at the sprawling Myanmar International Convention Centre on the second day of his 10—day three—nation tour of Myanmar, Australia and Fiji.

“A new era of economic development, industrialisation and trade has begun in India. Externally, India’s ‘Look East Policy’ has become ‘Act East Policy’,” he said. “Rapidly developing India and ASEAN can be great partners for each other. We are both keen to enhance our cooperation in advancing balance, peace and stability in the region,” the Prime Minister said.

Obama calls Modi ‘man of action’

At a brief interaction at NAY PYI TAW on Nov 12 night, US President Barack Obama called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “man of action.” Modi and Obama met for the second time in six weeks at a gala dinner in the Myanmar capital after the President played host to the Prime Minister at the White House in Washington in September last week. “Prez Obama greets PM @narendramodi at Gala dinner — ‘You are a man of action!,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted after the dinner. The dinner was hosted by Myanmar President Thein Sein for world leaders attending the ASEAN and the East Asian summits.

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