New Delhi: January 12, 2017
Please accept my heartiest congratulations on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of ASEAN. I extend my felicitations to all ASEAN Member States on this historic milestone.
The year 2017, also marks the 25th Anniversary of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership, and I take this opportunity to convey my warm greetings and the best wishes to Your Excellency as well as to all the heads of State and Government of ASEAN Member States and the peoples of ASEAN countries on this important occasion.
Excellency, our shared bonds of heritage and culture are built on the foundation of strong people-to-people contacts nurtured through the millennia. It is in consonance with this that the theme of the 25 years celebrations has been selected as "Shared Values, Common Destiny," reflecting our joint endeavor for a shared future defined by mutual cooperation, peace, progress and prosperity.
India's "Act East Policy" is a reflection of the importance we attach to our strategic partnership with ASEAN, of which we mark five years, alongside 15 years of our Summit-level partnership. I congratulate ASEAN member States on successfully completing one year of the ASEAN Community, and assure them of India's support for the realization of the ASEAN Vision 2025.
India greatly values ASEAN's role as a proponent of peace, stability and prosperity in the region, and reiterates its support to ASEAN centrality in regional affairs. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with ASEAN in the pursuit of a rules-based regional architecture which is open, inclusive, balanced and equitable.
Our economic partnership remains dynamic and I urge ASEAN support for reaping the full benefits of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area in Goods, Services and Investment. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership could further strengthen cooperation and economic integration in our region if we are able to achieve an inclusive, comprehensive, balanced and mutually beneficial agreement, with equal ambition in goods, services and investment.
Excellency, let me take this opportunity of once again assuring you of our desire to deepen our engagement with ASEAN across the three pillars of engagement, so that it may scale new heights and constitute a defining partnership of our times.
Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
H.E. Mr. Rodrigo R. Duterte
President of the Philippines