New Delhi [India], November 9 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Philippines on November 12 to attend the 15th Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) India summit and the 12th East Asia Summit in Manila on November 14.
"This visit will be Prime Minister Modi's first official visit to Philippines and his fourth time participation in the annual ASEAN and East Asia summits," the secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Preeti Saran, said on Thursday.
Saran emphasised, "With this visit to Philippines, India would have undertaken visits at the highest level of our President, Vice-President and Prime Minister to all ASEAN countries in the last three years," adding, "This shows the importance the government of India attaches to its relation with the ASEAN region."
"It symbolises India's commitment to deepening the relationship with ASEAN member states, in particular, and with the Indo-Pacific region, in general, within the framework of our government's act east policy which was initiated by our Prime Minister at the India-ASEAN summit that was held in 2014," Saran added.
"The prime minister's visit takes place in a landmark year as we are celebrating 25 years of India-ASEAN dialogue partnership, 15 years of Summit level participation and five years of our strategic partnership with the ASEAN," she added.
The prime minister will also meet some of the other world leaders, who are participating in the East Asia summit in Manila.
The MEA Secretary further mentioned that besides attending these two summits and the bilateral meetings with the leaders of the region, Prime Minister Modi would also participate in special celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.
The prime minister will also attend the ASEAN business and investment summit on November 13 and regional comprehensive economic partnership meeting on November 14 in Manila, emphasising these meetings were important as they would further enhance India's trade and investment ties with ASEAN member states, which constitute a significant over 10 per cent of India's external trade.
"The ASEAN region, along with India together comprises a combined population of 1.85 billion people, which is 1/4th of the global population and a combined GDP of over 3.8 trillion dollars, creating one of the largest economic spaces in the world," Saran said.
"The investment from ASEAN in the last 17 years has been over 70 billion dollars, accounting for more than 17 per cent of our total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the Indian investment in ASEAN during the same period has been more than 40 billion dollars," she added.
Prime Minister Modi will also meet the members of the Indian community at a reception to be hosted by the Indian envoy in Philippines. He will also visit the international rice research institute and the Mahavir Philippines Foundation. (ANI)