On the eve of his visit to Laos to attend ASEAN and East Asia Summits, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight said India wishes to enhance physical and digital connectivity with the South East Asian nations and leverage the modern interconnected world for the mutual benefit.
"ASEAN is a key partner for our 'Act East' policy, which is vital for the economic development of our Northeastern region, he said in a statement ahead of his two-day visit that begins tomorrow.
In Vientiane, the capital of Laos, Modi will attend the 14th ASEAN-India Summit and the 11th East Asia Summit.
"Our strategic partnership with ASEAN is also important for safeguarding and promoting our security interests and countering traditional and non-traditional security challenges in the region," he wrote in a Facebook post.
He added that East Asia Summit is the premier forum for discussions on the challenges and opportunities before the Asia Pacific region.
Noting that India's ties with the countries of South East Asia are "truly historic", he said, "our engagement and approach can be best encapsulated in just one word - connectivity."
"We wish to enhance our physical and digital connectivity; to see greater people to people links; to strengthen our institutional linkages; and, to leverage the modern interconnected world for the mutual benefit of all our people," the Prime Minister said.
During the visit, he said he will also have the opportunity to interact with the leaders of participating countries to discuss bilateral issues of mutual concern.