WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India
Jan 24, 2018, 05.01 PM
Ahead of the India-ASEAN Summit leaders of the various Southeast Asian countries arrived in India on Wednesday.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Singaporean Premier Lee Hsien Loong, Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak along with his wife and President of Philippines Rodrigo Duterte were the leaders to arrive in India Wednesday.
The two-day Summit is organised to mark the 25 years of Indo-ASEAN relations.
The event will start with a leaders' retreat on January 25 involving their "free and frank" discussion.
The theme of the retreat session is 'maritime cooperation and security'.
Following the retreat, a plenary session will be held on the same day.
To be held at the backdrop of increasing Chinese economic and military presence in the region, the meet is expected to boost India- ASEAN cooperation in key areas of counter-terrorism, security and connectivity.
India can utilise the meet as an opportunity to present itself as a powerful ally to these countries in the strategic areas of trade and connectivity.
The leaders from the South East Asian countries will also be guest to India's Republic Day celebrations on Friday.
This will be the first time when ten leaders from different countries will witness the Republic Day celebration as guest.
ASEAN constitutes Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.