Prime Minister Modi termed Singapore a springboard to ASEAN, while delivering his keynote address at the prestigious Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore this evening. It has been, for centuries, a gateway for India to the broader East, he said lauding the close ties between the two countries.
Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to address the prestigious forum of Shangri-La Dialogue.
“For thousands of years, Indians have turned to the East. Not just to see the sun rise but also to pray for its light to spread around the world,” PM Modi said in his opening remarks at the strategic security meet.
Underlining that the Indian Ocean has shaped much of India’s history, Modi said it now holds the key to our future.
“Oceans had an important place in Indian consciousness since pre-Vedic times. Thousands of years ago, Indus Valley Civilisation as well as Indian peninsula had maritime trade… Three years ago, in Mauritius, I described our vision in one word – SAGAR, which means ocean in Hindi. And, S.A.G.A.R. stands for Security and Growth for All in the Region,” he said.
The Prime Minister also stressed that India today have growing political, economic and defence ties with each Southeast Asian country.
“India-China cooperation is expanding. Trade is growing. And, we have displayed maturity and wisdom in managing issues and ensuring a peaceful border. There is growing intersection in our international presence,” he said.
“It is a measure of our strategic autonomy that India’s first Strategic Partnership, with Russia, has matured to be special and privileged,” he said, adding India’s global strategic partnership with the United States continues to deepen across the extraordinary breadth of our relationship.
Bringing attention to the accomplishments of his government, Modi said “Our principal mission is transforming India to a New India by 2022, when independent India will be 75 years young”.
Saying that no nation can shape and secure it on its own, the Prime Minister underlined that it is a world that summons us to rise above divisions and competition to work together. “Is that possible? Yes. It is possible. I see ASEAN as an example and inspiration,” he said emphatically.
He also said that India has a positive vision for the Indo-Pacific Region and it has many elements.
“India stands for a free, open, inclusive Indo-Pacific region, which embraces us all in a common pursuit of progress and prosperity. It includes all nations in this geography as also others beyond who have a stake in it,” he said in his address.