India's Look East policy matured into Act East: EAM Jaishankar at India ASEAN Summit 2021

EAM Jaishankar highlighted that India's Look East policy has matured into an Act East one and he said that its success is reflected in drawing India more comprehensively into the Indo-Pacific. 

EAM Jaishankar at India ASEAN Summit 2021
EAM Jaishankar at India ASEAN Summit 2021

India ASEAN Summit 2021: India's ties with ASEAN is rooted in history, geography and culture, said External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar while speaking at the inaugural session of the India ASEAN Summit on October 7, 2021. 

EAM Jaishankar stated that it is a matter of great pleasure to address the inaugural session of the ASEAN-India Business Summit 2021 and the event is an outcome of the partnership of the CII with MEA. 

The Union Minister commended the organizers for bringing together a wide array of participants drawn from Government, business chambers, enterprises and think-tanks and said our collective expectation is that this gathering would deliberate on the challenges and opportunities in ASEAN-India business relations.

India’s ties with the ASEAN rooted in history, geography and culture: EAM Jaishankar 

Speaking on India's ties with the ASEAN, EAM Jaishankar said that they are rooted in history, geography and culture and what has energized them in recent years is a growing awareness of the potential they hold for our mutual interests and development. 

He noted that their cooperation has grown in the course of the last 25 years and new facets and domains have emerged for collaboration. He said connectivity and security are among the more notable of the later additions. 

EAM Jaishankar highlighted that India's Look East policy has matured into an Act East one and he said that its success is reflected in drawing India more comprehensively into the Indo-Pacific. 

He said that there is no doubt that the ASEAN is one of the major hubs for India’s global economic engagement and as it develops, it is natural that we would like to re-visit the level of ambition that we have set for our partnership, influenced by autonomous changes in the region.

Pandemic disrupted our supply chain, impacted manufacturing: EAM Jaishankar 

EAM S Jaishankar noted that the pandemic disrupted our supply chains, impacted our manufacturing, affected our trade and veritably ruined many services sectors. He said that these developments have not just altered various dimensions of our day-to-day business but also shaped our way of life. 

The Union Minister highlighted that from the prolonged crisis of the last two years, four areas have come into sharp focus for international business cooperation that should constitute the core agenda: 

(i) Resilient and reliable supply chains

(ii) Health security

(iii) Digital for development

(iv) Green & sustainable recovery. 

EAM Jaishankar further stated that Covid-19 has brought out many inadequacies in the global health system. He said in all of this, the role of business is critical and the crisis can often be the basis of creativity and our endeavour should be to come out of this stronger.

World's first DNA vaccine for COVID-19

EAM Jaishankar said that India has succeeded in developing the world’s first DNA vaccine for COVID-19 and another mRNA vaccine is in the final stages along with a nasal vaccine. 

He said that our global collaborations have enabled us to emerge as a major vaccine production centre for the world. He also noted the innovative methods of collaboration, including an initiative agreed upon by the Quad countries, which could have significant benefits for nations of the Indo-Pacific. 

He also noted how Indian pharmaceutical manufacturing have stepped up to the challenge of ramping up production for medicines that were in great demand. He said that this was happening as we simultaneously transformed the public health system in India. 

He highlighted that health has emerged as a more serious priority for all societies and businesses must recognize the ensuing opportunities.

India-ASEAN collaboration

The External Affairs Minister noted that the compulsions of the COVID era have made us all much more digital and strengthening of digital connectivity acquires even greater importance both with ASEAN and in the larger Indo-Pacific region. 

He stated that on its part, India can offer science and technology-based innovations to help the region as the scale and cost of our solutions are indeed very attractive.

He further highlighted the centrality of ASEAN to the Indo-Pacific and the importance of India-ASEAN relations and stated that India and ASEAN can work together more closely to expand international cooperation, especially among businesses and also become a part of reliable and resilient supply chains.

Source: MEA

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