A TOUR OF
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Manila, Philippines from 12th-14th November 2017 to attend the 15th ASEAN-India Summit and the 12th East Asia Summit.
The three-day visit saw the Prime Minister hold a bilateral meeting with President Duterte, ink MoUs covering various sectors such as - micro small and medium enterprises, defence, agriculture and related fields ; interact with the Indian Community members and visit the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Mahavir Philippines Foundation Inc. (MPFI).
The twin Summits that were held in Manila, were attended by Heads of State/Government of the 10 ASEAN and 18 East Asia Summit participating countries respectively.
India's engagement with the ASEAN and wider Indo-Pacific region has acquired further momentum following the enunciation of the ‘Act East Policy’ by the Prime Minister at the 12th ASEAN-India Summit and 9th East Asia Summit in Myanmar in November 2014. This is his fourth such engagement at these important Leaders-led fora.
Besides the Summits, the Prime Minister also attended the Special Celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Leaders' Meeting and ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.
The book will take you through the highlights of the visit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Manila, Philippines from 12th-14th November, 2017, at the invitation of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. This was his first official visit to Philippines.
This visit took place in a landmark year which celebrated 25 years of India-ASEAN dialogue partnership, 15 years of summit level participation and 5 years of strategic partnership with ASEAN.
During the visit the Prime Minister held a bilateral meeting with President Duterte, who is also the current Chair of ASEAN.The visit aimed to set up the stage for a quantitative change in India’s bilateral relations with Philippines and further strengthen the politico-security, economic and socio-cultural pillars of its engagement with ASEAN.
As a key country in the region with a large, educated and young population and a fast growing economy, Philippines is an important partner in India’s Act-East Policy. The two leaders witnessed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) being signed covering - micro small and medium enterprises, Defence Industry and Logistics Cooperation, MoU between ICWA and FSI and establishment of ICCR Chair in University of Philippines.
Prime Minister Modi visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), located at Los Banos during his three day visit to Philippines. IRRI is a premier research organisation dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice growing environment for future generations.
He was shown drones that could be used in the agriculture sector and help farmers. He was also shown rice varieties that would greatly benefit Indian farmers such as – Salinity, Drought and flood tolerant rice varieties.
The visit also saw him undertake a symbolic ground breaking for a new plot for submergence tolerant rice varieties and unveil a plaque to mark the inauguration of the Shri Narendra Modi Resilient Rice Field Laboratory. He also presented two Indian rice seed varieties to the IRRI gene bank and interacted with several Indian scientists working at IRRI.
Prime Minister Modi visited the Mahaveer Philippine Foundation.It is an associate centre of Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti based in Jaipur which is the famous "Jaipur Foot.” A non-profit philanthropic organisation, set up by the highly regarded Indian–origin Mayor of Manila Dr. Ramon Bagatsing, the foundation has been instrumental in the fitment of the Jaipur Foot to needy amputees. About 757 amputees benefitted from the programme in 2017.
On arrival Prime Minister Modi was greeted by members of the Indian Diaspora, who form an important niche group of Filipino society.
Addressing the Indian Community members, Prime Minister Modi said that the ASEAN region is very important for India. He
spoke of the long shared heritage and emotional bonding that India has with the ASEAN region. In particular, he mentioned
the Buddha and the Ramayana. He said the Indian Diaspora in the region has a key role to play in nurturing this
He said that we should do everything possible to ensure that the 21st century, which is termed "Asia's century" becomes "India's century."
"India has always contributed to world peace. Our contingent in the UN Peacekeeping Forces is among the biggest"
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Providing momentum to his “Act East Policy”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met ASEAN leaders at the 15th ASEAN-India Summit in Manila and reviewed the broad spectrum of cooperation. The leaders also took note of the commemorative activities undertaken in 2017 on the theme “Shared Values, Common Destiny” to mark the 25 years of India’s dialogue partnership with the region.
The ties between ASEAN and India are progressing through a 30-dialogue mechanism covering Foreign Affairs, Commerce, Tourism, Agriculture, Environment, Renewable Energy and Telecommunications.
India stressed that an early conclusion of a balanced Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will boost trade and investment ties with the region. Trade between India and ASEAN stood at US $71 billion in 2016-17. This is 10.85 percent of India’s total trade with the world.
Emphasising that the wide-ranging agenda of cooperation under the 3rd ASEAN-India Plan of Action has progressed well covering the three crucial pillars of politico-security, economic and cultural partnership, Prime Minister Modi said in his opening remark that India’s Act East Policy is shaped around the ASEAN and its centrality in the regional security architecture of the Indo-Pacific region is evident.
At the 12th East Asia Summit, the Leaders discussed matters of regional and international interest and concern including maritime security, terrorism, non-proliferation, irregular migration, etc. They also accepted declarations on Countering the Spread of Terrorist Narratives, Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism and Poverty Alleviation.
The East Asia Summit is the premier Leaders-led forum in the Indo-Pacific. Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in the strategic, geopolitical and economic evolution of East Asia. Apart from the 10 ASEAN Member states, East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, United States and Russia.
India, being a founding member of the East Asia Summit, is committed to strengthening the East Asia Summit and making it more effective for dealing with contemporary challenges.
Prime Minister Modi also attended a Leaders' Meeting on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Negotiations which followed the 12th East Asia Summit.
A proposed mega Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of the ASEAN (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar,the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).
RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.
The RCEP, when realized will become the largest trade bloc in terms of population with nearly 3.5 billion people. It will also have an estimated 40% of world’s GDP and dominating 30% of global trade.
It will provide framework aimed at lowering trade barriers and securing improved market access for goods and services for business in the region.
Addressing the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017, a premiere annual business event of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council bringing attention to the business, investment opportunities, issues, and directions in the ASEAN today, Prime Minister Modi highlighted the scope for India-ASEAN economic cooperation and the reform trajectory in India that makes our nation an attractive investment destination.
He invited the Industry and Corporate leaders of ASEAN nations to participate in India’s growth story. He also informed the gathering of the ASEAN-India Business and Investment Meet and Expo that India will be organisng in Januray 2018 to coincide with the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit of ASEAN leaders.
"Task of transforming India is proceeding at an unprecedented scale. We are working day and night towards easy, effective
and transparent governance"
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi