ASEAN Leaders To Attend India’s Republic Day Celebrations in 2018

Leaders from 10 countries will also attend the commemorative summit marking 25th anniversary of India-ASEAN ties.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Nov. 14 invited leaders from 10 ASEAN countries to attend the Republic Day celebrations in India in January 2018. The leaders, who accepted the invitation, would participate in the commemorative summit marking the 25th anniversary of India’s ties with the bloc.

The India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit will take place in New Delhi on Jan. 25, 2018. In his address at the ASEAN-India summit, Modi said that 1.25 billion people of India are keen to welcome the ASEAN leaders as the chief guests at India’s 69th Republic Day celebrations.

Modi emphasized on his commitment to working with ASEAN to realize “our common destiny.” He told the leaders that he was “looking forward to a befitting culmination of the commemorative year and receiving you.”

The ASEAN leaders “graciously” accepted the Indian Prime Minister’s invitation to attend the two events, according to Preeti Saran, Secretary (East) in the External Affairs Ministry. Saran said that a number of events have been planned for the run-up to the commemorative summit, such as the India-ASEAN connectivity summit on Dec. 11 and 12, and a business summit to be held in January next year.

Modi said in his address at the summit: “To coincide with the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in January, an ASEAN-India Business and Investment meet and expo will be held, which will be the biggest ASEAN focused event that India has ever organized.”

The Cambodian leadership, seeing the accolades given to Rama Hari, the musical ballet on Ramayana performed during the opening ceremony at Manila this week, proposed that ASEAN troupes should be invited for their own rendition of the Ramayana at the commemorative summit in January. As Ramayana reflects India’s civilizational links with ASEAN nations, Saran said, India accepted the proposal and would invite groups from all the 10 ASEAN countries to perform at the occasion.

India-ASEAN ties have been on an upward curve, especially in areas of trade and investment. ASEAN’s investment in India has been over $70 billion in the last 17 years, which makes up 17 per cent of India’s total FDI. India’s investment in ASEAN has been more than $40 billion during the same period.

ASEAN-India together comprise a population of 1.85 billion people, which makes up one-fourth of the global population. Their combined GDP has been estimated at over $3.8 trillion.

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