Participants at the summit (Photo: VNA)

Singapore (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc joined leaders of other ASEAN countries and India at the ASEAN-India Informal Breakfast Summit in Singapore on November 15 within the framework of the ongoing 33rd ASEAN Summit.

The leaders lauded positive progress in the ASEAN-India relations since the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit to mark 25 years of the bilateral ties in January 2018, while reaffirming determination to foster the ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

ASEAN leaders hailed India’s support to the association’s central role and efforts for regional connectivity and the building of the ASEAN Community.

The two sides agreed to continue bolstering their comprehensive partnership, especially in areas of mutual benefit such as economic, trade and investment; finalising negotiations for a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); promoting connectivity and sustainable development, narrowing development gaps, and boosting digital growth.

They will work together in optimising opportunities from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, strengthening maritime cooperation, aviation connectivity and people-to-people exchange and collaboration in education and tourism.

Indian PM Narendra Modi hailed the role of ASEAN in the region, recognised important achievements in the ASEAN-India relations over the past years when Vietnam was the coordinator of the relationship for the 2015-18 term, and welcomed Thailand to assume the role in the next three years.

The Indian leader affirmed to continue strengthening the “Act East” policy, while sharing India’s standpoint on strengthening cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, and highlighting the respect for fundamental principles and the central role of ASEAN in the regional architecture.

Modi announced the provision of 1 billion USD for activities on connecting infrastructure and boosting digital cooperation as well as for the continued implementation of the digital collaboration project with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

India will also grant 1,000 scholarships to ASEAN countries, form a network of ASEAN-India universities and organise a conference on renewable energy in India in the coming time, he said.

Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc thanked India for cooperating with Vietnam to help the country complete its role as coordinator of the ASEAN-India relations in the 2015-2018 period.

He voiced his support to ASEAN and India in strengthening maritime affiliation, including blue economy and ensuring maritime security, trade and investment cooperation and connectivity, with the construction of an expressway linking India and Mekong countries as well as other projects in the region.

PM Phuc affirmed the importance of maintaining a peaceful environment, stability, security and safety of navigation and aviation to all countries, especially coastal states. He lauded India’s support to ASEAN’s principles and stance in the field in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.-VNA