JAKARTA: Asean and India should continue to use their cordial links with other countries to encourage dialogue and joint efforts to resolve the South China Sea issue, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic).
The Prime Minister said that Malaysia and Asean had always considered India an important strategic ally.
“On challenges and conflicts (in) evolving geopolitics, Asean and India should continue to use our friendly relations with other countries to encourage dialogue, cooperation, peaceful coexistence, and we have made a lot of reference to the issue of the South China Sea,” he said at the 20th Asean-India Summit held in conjunction with the 43rd Asean Summit and other related Summits here on Thursday (Sept 7).
Earlier, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this year’s summit theme “Asean Matters: Epicentrum of Growth” was significant because “here, everyone’s voice is heard.”
“Asean is (the) epicentre of growth because it plays an important role in global growth,” added Modi.
Anwar also congratulated Modi on India’s historic landing of its spacecraft near the south pole of the moon in August, the first from any nation to touch down in that area.
“We share the pride as part of the Asian and Asean venture,” he said.
Anwar also praised India’s success in its efforts to boost online access and digital banking even in the rural heartland.
On economic cooperation, Anwar welcomed the progress review of the Asean-India Trade in Goods Agreement, and said both parties need to work towards its conclusion in 2025 to harness the full potential of their economic relations.
On food security, despite the challenges posed by climate change, Anwar believed that Asean can leverage India’s wide expertise in agriculture, particularly in smart farming.
Asean and India have to cooperate to develop a more proactive agenda on climate change that promotes inclusive, sustainable growth and extended collaboration in renewable energy, water management and forest biodiversity conservation.
Source : TheStar