India's 'Look East Policy' has become 'Act East Policy': PM Modi

Narendra ModiNay Pyi Taw, Nov 12 : Asserting that a new era of economic development, industrialization and trade has begun in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said externally, India's 'Look East Policy' has become 'Act East Policy'.

"We greatly respect the enthusiasm with which you have extended the hand of friendship to India. Today the world and the region need a strong India-ASEAN partnership; that is why we believe that we are entering in a new era in the India-ASEAN partnership," said Prime Minister Modi.

Prime Minister Modi said that he is very pleased to have the privilege to participate in the India-ASEAN Summit.

"I am particularly honoured that I got this opportunity in Myanmar. Myanmar is our great neighbor, with which we have had historically very close relations. Further, India's Eastern journey begins on the Western boundary of Myanmar," he said in his opening statement at the 12th India-ASEAN Summit here.

"Excellency, I am grateful to you for your warm welcome and hospitality; congratulate you on the excellent arrangements; and wish you great success in hosting the ASEAN and East Asia Summits," he added.

Prime Minister Modi emphasized that the government led by him in New Delhi attaches high importance to its engagement in the East.

"My government has been in office for six months and the intensity and momentum with which we have enhanced our engagement in the East, is a reflection of the priority that we give to this region," said Prime Minister Modi.

"We have close bilateral relations with each of you and we treat the relations with ASEAN with the same importance," he added.

Prime Minister Modi further said the ASEAN has today established its own identity and voice in global political and economic affairs.

"Today, the entire Asia-Pacific region desires integration and cooperation. To achieve this extremely important goal we look at ASEAN, not only for inspiration but also for its leadership; and you have achieved a great deal of success in leading us in that direction," he added.

Prime Minister Modi said the ASEAN community is India's neighbour.

"We have ancient relations of trade, religion, culture, art and traditions. We have enriched each other through our interaction. This constitutes a strong foundation of a modern relationship," said Prime Minister Modi.

"That is why our world view is similar in many respects; our mutual confidence and trust is strong. We have no irritants in our relationship. We see encouraging opportunities and challenges in the world in similar ways," he added.

Prime Minister Modi further said the ASEAN and India have the vigour and enthusiasm of its youth and wisdom and understanding of its ancient civilisations.

"Rapidly developing India and ASEAN can be great partners for each other. We are both keen to enhance our cooperation in advancing balance, peace and stability in the region," Prime Minister Modi said.

"We have been successful to a considerable extent in pursuing our dreams. We have laid a foundation for a strong and comprehensive strategic partnership. But, our potential is much higher than where we are at the moment," he added.

Prime Minister Modi also thanked Sultan Hassan-al Bolkiah of Brunei for injecting so much energy in India-ASEAN relationship as country-coordinator.

"I am also confident that Vietnam, as the next country-coordinator, will take our relationship to an even higher plane," he said. (ANI)