Republic Day celebration; ASEAN to be the main Guest

Republic Day celebration; ASEAN to be the main Guest

"To have connectivity work to its full potential it is necessary to dial down the nationalistic rhetoric", Ambassador Chutintorn Sam Gongsakdi told The Hindu in an interview ahead of the summit, which will see all the 10 leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, assemble in Delhi for the 25-year commemorative summit on January 25 and as chief guests of the Republic Day parade.

In economics, ASEAN and India signed an Agreement on Trade in Goods in 2009 and another Trade in Services and Investment Agreement in 2014.

Not just in domestic politics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has invoked Lord Rama in diplomacy as well.

"I'm more interested, really, in the medicines because we are a poor country", he added.

New Delhi is of the view that Ramayana, along with Buddhism, provides a strong cultural bond between India and all the ASEAN countries. The President of India addresses the nation on the eve of Republic Day that is web telecasted on January 25.

The summit, with the theme "Shared Values and Common Destiny", has two sessions, De La Vega said.

Capping the summit is a cultural program and banquet to be hosted by Modi in honor of the ASEAN leaders during the same evening.


A five-day long Ramayana Festival gets underway here to enable people in various parts of the country including Delhi to enjoy the diverse Ramayana performances from different ASEAN countries.

Dela Vega said India has been an important dialogue partner of the ASEAN since 1992.

In 2016, India also ranked as the seventh largest source of foreign direct investments with inflows from India to Asean recorded at almost $1.5bn.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's India visit to attend the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit and the 69th anniversary of the Republic Day of India from January 24-26 will boost bilateral cooperation and political trust.

The diplomat stressed that Vietnam-India relations hold a leading position in ASEAN-India ties. So that demonstrates the importance that India attaches to ASEAN,"Dela Vega said".

In a first, the Republic Day celebrations will have 10 chief guests.

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