Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attended the 16th ASEAN-India Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.

Modi, in his opening remarks, expressed happiness on being a part of the 16th India – ASEAN Summit and thanked Thailand for the warm hospitality and extended best wishes to Vietnam for taking over as the Chairman of next year’s Summit.

Modi said that India’s Act East Policy is a significant cornerstone of the Indo-Pacific strategy, adding that ASEAN is at the core of Act East Policy. “A strong ASEAN will immensely benefit India,” he said.

He also highlighted the steps being taken to improve the surface, maritime, air, and digital connectivity. “One billion-dollar Indian line of credit will prove beneficial for improving physical and digital connectivity,” he said.

Modi also highlighted that last year’s Commemorative Summit and Singapore Informal Summit’s Decisions implementation has brought India and ASEAN closer, adding that India is willing to increase cooperation and partnership in areas mutually beneficial to India and ASEAN and expressed readiness to improve partnership and capacity building in the areas of agriculture, research, engineering, science, and ICT.

He said that India wants to strengthen cooperation in the areas of maritime security and blue economy. He also welcomed the recent decision to review India ASEAN FTA saying it will improve the economic partnership between the two countries.