India pledges to foster ties with ASEAN hinh anh 1Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Source: AFP/VNA)

New Delhi (VNA) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that his trip to the Philippines for the India-ASEAN Summit shows the country's commitment to deepening ties with the ASEAN member states and the Indo-Pacific region as part of his “Act East Policy”.

The tour will create a new driving force for the bilateral relations while strengthening the political-security, economic, and cultural-social pillars between the two nations, he said.

The Indian PM said he looks forward to having a bilateral meeting with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and will also have meetings with other ASEAN and East Asia Summit leaders. He expects to connect with the Indian community in the Philippines.

Apart from participating in the ASEAN-India and East Asia Summits, Modi is scheduled to take part in special celebrations of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Leaders' Meeting and ASEAN Business and Investment Summit. 

The ASEAN and India comprise a total population of 1.85 billion people, which is one-fourth of the global population. The combined GDP has been estimated at over 3.8 trillion USD.

The India – ASEAN trade valued at 65.04 billion USD in 2015-2016, accounting for 10.12 percent of India’s total trade value.-VNA