He said however that connectivity and infrastructure are major challenges to further push the trade ties between India and the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean). India will host the Summit on 25th and 26th January. "And, by the very presence of 10 leaders from ASEAN during the Republic Day celebrations, India will definitely showcase its "Act East" policy", said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
But he will start bilateral meetings with all the visiting leaders starting Wednesday.
Modi will hold parleys with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippines President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi today upon their arrival. Later on, Modi will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister of Lao Thongloun Sisoulith.
The sessions and discussions to be held on Tuesday will focus on sectors of mutual interest particularly namely services, regional value chains and connectivity, agriculture, trade and investment.
Meanwhile, the state government also invited all ASEAN countries and investors to participate in the biennial global investor's summit 'Make in Odisha Conclave', scheduled from November 11-15 at Bhubaneswar.
China says United States warship violated sovereignty near Scarborough
Beijing considers any U.S. patrols within 12 nautical miles of the islands as an intrusion into its territorial waters. The Philippines has sparred with China for decades over what it says is aggressive conduct at the Scarborough Shoal.
India's exports to Asean increased to about United States dollars 31 billion in 2016-17 from USD 25.15 billion in the previous fiscal.
The minister also said that India can not become a member of ASEAN because of geographical reason as this grouping is of South East Asian nations while India lies in the South Asia.
India's trade with ASEAN, its fourth largest trading partner, increased to 70 billion USA dollars in 2016-2017, from 65 billion dollars in the previous year.
The PM's visit aims to confirm Vietnam's consistent policy of giving high priority to upholding the Vietnam - India comprehensive strategic partnership, as well as affirm Vietnam's active role as a coordinating country for the ASEAN - India relationship. This will be followed by a leaders' retreat and then the plenary session of the India-Asean commemorative summit.
On Thursday, the prime minister will hold bilateral talks with the leaders of Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, ahead of the summit.