Bandar Seri Begawan, Thursday, 28th October 2021
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, this afternoon chaired the 18th ASEAN-India Summit. The Summit was held virtually via video conference from Baitul Mesyuarah, Istana Nurul Iman.
At the 18th ASEAN-India Summit, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam as ASEAN Chair for 2021 appreciated India’s support for ASEAN’s recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic, including its role in supplying vaccines to the region and its contribution of 1 million U.S. dollars to the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund.
His Majesty welcomed the decision by ASEAN and India to exchange information on medicinal products, including vaccines, and medical technologies for COVID-19 response.
In addition, His Majesty encouraged ASEAN and India to work together on sustainable economic recovery by exploring new opportunities for cooperation under the Blue Economy, which may include developing key industries that can generate employment and enhance connectivity such as fisheries and maritime transport, respectively.
His Majesty also encouraged the commencement of a review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) to make it more business-friendly and trade facilitative, which would also support economic recovery efforts.
Lastly, His Majesty noted the designation of 2022 as “ASEAN-India Friendship Year” to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-India relations.
Meanwhile, His Excellency Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India in his statement highlighted that the friendship between ASEAN and India has improved, despite facing numerous challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ASEAN centrality and unity have always been an important priority for India, and this is enshrined in India’s Act East Policy and Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).
His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore then delivered the ASEAN Common Statement as Country Coordinator for ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations, which focused on redressing adverse impacts of COVID-19 through sustainable and comprehensive recovery; valued India’s commitment in respecting principles of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative; reaffirmed India’s commitment to a rules-based multilateral system; supported enhanced cooperation in key areas; and promoted a rules-based order in accordance with international law.
At the Summit, Leaders commended India for its contributions and assistance to ASEAN as well as India’s support for ASEAN-led mechanisms, in efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. ASEAN should also leverage on India’s well-established pharmaceutical industry in promoting human resource development in the health sector as well as strategic research and development of vaccines. Leaders also called for the strengthening of cooperation between ASEAN-India in various areas including digital transformation, digital economy; science, technology and innovation; connectivity; and biodiversity.
At the end of the Summit, the ASEAN-India Joint Statement on Cooperation on the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific for Peace, Stability and Prosperity in the Region was adopted.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was founded on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member Countries; Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined ASEAN on 7 January 1984