ANI Photo | Amid vulnerabilities in Indo-Pacific, India commits to ASEAN to sustain food trade supply chains

Recognising the inter-connectedness and vulnerabilities of the Indo-Pacific region in the face of regional and global challenges, India has committed to maintaining and supporting ASEAN as the epicentre of global growth and to increase concerted efforts in sustaining the food trade supply chain despite disruptions.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, India during the 20th ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia agreed to collaborate on rapid actions to strengthen food security and nutrition in response to crises, including by ensuring unimpeded trade and flow of foodstuffs and other essential agricultural inputs, including the supply of fertilisers, pesticides, and their raw materials as well as enhancing market connectivity and distribution networks for agriculture and food products.
India, thus recognizing the importance of joint efforts and mutual support in the region and beyond, “Committed to maintaining and supporting ASEAN in the 20th ASEAN-India Summit as the epicentrum of global growth and to increase concerted efforts between ASEAN and India in sustaining supply in the food trade supply chain despite disruptions.”
They agreed to strengthen cooperation on food security and nutrition through promoting trade and investment, capacity building, research and development, technology and innovation, sustainable management, infrastructure development and sharing of information, experience and best practices in the food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors.
The leaders of ASEAN and India exchanged information on national policy frameworks particularly for rice and other priority crop commodities as well as agricultural diversity to enhance food security and nutrition, and intensify coordination of food security and nutrition policies across ASEAN Member States and India, as per ASEAN-India joint leaders’ statement on strengthening food security and nutrition in response to crises.
They acknowledged the nutritional richness, climate resilience, health benefits and ecological sustainability of millets, considering that millets are good for the consumer, cultivator and climate; and support efforts to mainstream the cultivation and harvesting of millets for ensuring global food security, promoting biodiversity and transforming agrifood system.
They welcomed the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Response to Crises adopted on September 5, 2023.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as he attended and co-chaired the ASEAN-India Summit, said that it is a testament to a shared vision.
“Always a delight to meet @ASEAN leaders,” PM Modi wrote on X.
He said, “The ASEAN-India Summit is a testament to our shared vision and collaboration for a better future. We look forward to working together in futuristic sectors which will enhance human progress.”
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.
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 which is the theme of the G20 under the Indian presidency.
The PM also attended 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’. 
This comes as the 9th ASEAN India Summit to be attended by PM Modi. The Summit is the first one after the elevation of India ASEAN relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership which happened last year.

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