Excellency Vivian Balakrishnan, Co-Chair and Foreign Minister of Singapore.
Foreign Ministers and colleagues from ASEAN Member States.
A very good morning to all of you.
I am truly delighted to join you this morning, and I too would like to begin by thanking Indonesia and Minister Retno personally for the warm welcome and hospitality. I would also like to express my appreciation for the efforts of Indonesia in effectively steering ASEAN under the current geopolitical scenario with the vision of ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth. Let me also recognize and appreciate Singapore as our country coordinator for your steadfast support in strengthening ASEAN's relationship with India.
Dear colleagues, last year, as my Co-Chair noted, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India relations and we elevated it to a comprehensive strategic partnership. And this was done with a host of activities which focused on all dimensions of our partnership, including the first foreign ministers meeting in Delhi, an exchange of parliamentary delegations, an artist's camp, a music festival, the first ever defense ministers meeting, and it closed with the first ASEAN-India maritime exercise in May 2023.
Colleagues, ASEAN is a crucial pillar of India's activities policy and its vision for the wider Indo-Pacific. A strong and unified ASEAN plays an important role in the emerging dynamic of the Indo-Pacific. India firmly supports ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN outlook on the Indo-Pacific. We welcome Indonesia's efforts in mainstreaming of AOIP and its planned implementation through the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum. AOIP's convergence with the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative, or IPOI, provides a strong basis for our cooperation in this regard. As comprehensive strategic partners, we look forward to working with ASEAN in further expanding our partnership to include newer areas while strengthening existing corporations. And I refer here especially to cyber, financial and maritime security domains. I would like to extend my appreciation to all the ASEAN foreign ministers for your support in strengthening our partnership. I look forward to our discussions today to pave the way for a vibrant and dynamic ASEAN-India partnership well suited for the current global economic and strategic landscape.
Thank you, co-chair. Thank you, Excellencies.
July 13, 2023