Jakarta: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday attended the 20th ASEAN Summit in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta and said that ASEAN is the central pillar of India's Act East policy and it has an important place in India's Indo-Pacific initiative.

In his address to the Summit, PM Modi stated that the India-ASEAN partnership has reached its fourth decade and it is an honour for him to co-chair the Summit. He also congratulated Indonesian President Joko Widodo for organising the Summit.

PM Modi highlighted the shared values, regional integration and shared beliefs in peace that unite India and the ASEAN.

"Our history and geography unite India and ASEAN. Along with it, our shared values, regional integration, and our shared belief in peace, prosperity and a multipolar world also unite us. ASEAN is the central pillar of India's Act East Policy. India supports ASEAN's outlook on ASEAN-India centrality and Indo-Pacific," PM Modi said in his address in Hindi.

In his opening remarks at the 20th ASEAN Summit, PM Modi said "This year's theme is ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth. ASEAN matters because here everyone's voice is heard and ASEAN is epicentrum of growth because ASEAN plays an important role in global growth."

He referred to 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam -One Earth, One Family, One Future that is the theme of the G20 under Indian presidency.

PM Modi also also called for amplifying the voice of the global south. The Prime Minister said in 2022 the India-ASEAN Friendship Day was celebrated and elevated the ties to comprehensive strategic partnership.

The Prime Minister congratulated Hune Manet, the Cambodia Prime Minster, who was appointed recently to office. He also mentioned Singapore, the Country Coordinator and Laos, which will assume ASEAN chairmanship in 2024.

The PM also attended attend the East Asia Summit today.

Upon his arrival in the country earlier today, PM Modi was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Jakarta International Airport.

Prime Minister Modi met members of the Indian diaspora who welcomed him.

At the venue of the ASEAN Summit, the Jakarta Convention Centre, PM Modi was welcomed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Earlier, in his departure statement, Prime Minister Modi said that he is looking forward to exchanging views with other leaders on practical cooperation measures to collectively address the global challenges.

He also termed the engagement with the ASEAN group as an important pillar of India’s ‘Act East Policy'. The Prime Minister is visiting Jakarta at the invitation of the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo.

PM Modi will return to New Delhi on Thursday evening ahead of the G20 Summit, which will be held on September 9-10.