Addressing the event, Tam highlighted close cooperation between ASEAN and India over the past 25 years to promote peace, stability and prosperity, for the sake of people of the two sides.
He held that the summit will create an opportunity for ASEAN and India to exchange viewpoints and information about cooperation in key spheres like information and communications technology (ICT), transport, education and human resources development.
ASEAN prioritises digital and natural connectivity with dialogue countries while implementing the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, he said, noting that ASEAN welcomes new commitments made by the Indian Government to promoting collaboration in technical and financial support to group.
Expressing his belief that the summit will contribute to raising the ASEAN-India strategic partnership to a new high, Tam affirmed Vietnam’s support for closer cooperation between the two sides.
In his remarks, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs V.K.Singh cited Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi as saying that enhancing connectivity with ASEAN is one of India’s top priorities.
He underlined the need for the two sides to promptly modernise their maritime connectivity, adding that India stands ready to share its experience with ASEAN in the digital sector, especially in rural areas.
Indian Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who is also Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, said that India has proposed a credit package worth US$1 billion to fast track projects on road, maritime and aviation connectivity with ASEAN.
Besides, India has also established a project development fund valued at US$77 million to develop manufacturing hubs in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, he added.
An agreement on cooperation in sea transport between ASEAN and India is also under discussion, he said, noting that the two sides have also agreed to set up a working group on sea transport between India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam to ensure feasibility of sea transport networks.
The summit, themed “Powering digital and physical linkages for Asia in the 21st century,” will last until December 12.