Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (fourth, left) and other delegates at the 15th ASEAN-India Summit (Photo: VNA)

Manila (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has underscored the need to continue fostering and deepening ASEAN’s relations with India, focusing on optimizing projects on narrowing development gaps, strengthening connectivity and people-to-people contacts and broadening cooperation areas.

Addressing the 15th ASEAN-India Summit on November 14 as part of the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila, the Philippines, on behalf of ASEAN leaders, Phuc said ASEAN expects the support of India to the building of the ASEAN Community and the promotion of the association’s central role in shaping the regional architecture.

The PM also affirmed the determination of Vietnam, as the coordinating country of the ASEAN-India relations, to work with other ASEAN countries and India to successfully organise the upcoming summit commemorating the ASEAN-India ties.

Leaders of ASEAN and India showed delight at their affiliation outcomes recently, especially the effective implementation of their plan of actions for the 2016-2020 period and cooperation in prioritised areas in the 2016-2018 period.

They reaffirmed commitments to continue fostering economic, trade collaboration and connectivity, people-to-people contact, cooperation in science-technology, education, culture, natural disaster relief, and narrowing development gap.

They lauded Vietnam’s initiative to organise the ASEAN-India conference on blue economy in Nha Trang city from November 24-25. ASEAN leaders will also attend a summit commemorating the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-India relations and the 69th India Republic Day on January 25-26, 2018 in New Delhi.-VNA