India For Enhanced Multilateral Cooperation
Singapore: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for enhanced multilateral cooperation while reiterating India’s vision of an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region during the 13th East Asia Summit here. According to External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, Modi reiterated India’s vision of a peaceful, open and inclusive Indo Pacific region, strengthening maritime cooperation and commitment to a balanced Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
India has been stressing on the centrality of Asean’s role for peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement between the ASEAN member states and the six countries with which this regional bloc has existing free trade agreements — Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. Under New Delhi’s Act East Policy, India has been increasing its engagements with the Asean regional bloc. Stating that all effort should be made to bring the RCEP negotiations to conclusion in 2019, Lee said: “Together with the Asean-India Free Trade Area, we hope that this will help us reach the Asean-India trade target of $200 billion in total trade by 2022.” (IANS)