November 19, 2012
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Response by PM at the 10th ASEAN-India Summit

I sincerely thank you for your support for India-ASEAN partnership and your commitment to further strengthen and broaden it. I am also grateful for your valuable thoughts and suggestions on the future direction of our relationship. I also look forward to meeting you bilaterally here and in Delhi.

I also thank the ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Group for its report on India-ASEAN Partnership. The Group’s recommendations provide valuable guidance for our deepening partnership, not only for mutual benefit, but also for peace and stability, growth and prosperity in the wider Asia-Pacific region.

I have no doubt that the conclusion of the Agreement on Trade in Services and Investments, together with our existing Agreement on Trade in Goods, will be a springboard for rapid expansion in our economic relations. The promising initiatives for cooperation in diverse sectors will add additional depth and range to our cooperation.

India’s large markets and rapid growth offer enormous opportunities for investments. We are taking a series of steps to further improve investment environment and accelerate growth. We look forward to increased ASEAN investments into India. At the same time, India will offer its own resources, expertise and experience to support growth and development in ASEAN countries, where such needs exist. I am pleased that Indian private sector has increased its presence in the region. I would also like to stress the importance of creating an environment that makes it easier for our professionals, entrepreneurs, students and tourists to travel between India and ASEAN countries.

Improved connectivity between India and ASEAN will be vital for deepening our economic integration as well as our strategic partnership. India and ASEAN have a shared interest in maritime security, counter-terrorism, anti-piracy and disaster management. We would like to see the emergence of an open, balanced, inclusive architecture that promotes peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific Region.

This is a time of challenges in the region, but also of immense opportunities to shape its future. I am convinced that India and ASEAN can play an important and constructive role in building the regional architecture. Tomorrow, we will participate in the seventh East Asia Summit and launch the RCEP negotiations.

This 10th ASEAN India Summit in Phnom Penh is a significant milestone in our partnership. There is great expectation for the future. I am confident that India and ASEAN countries will build a comprehensive strategic partnership. The Commemorative Summit provides us an occasion to define our vision for the future.

Excellencies, I look forward to receiving you in New Delhi for the Commemorative Summit. Once again, I would like to thank our Host Cambodia and Prime Minister Hun Sen for their very warm hospitality and for Cambodia’s role in helping us to scale new heights in the ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership.

Thank you.