Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to give India’s ‘Act East’ policy a push as he holds bilateral meetings with the leaders of ASEAN nations on Thursday.

Leaders of the ten ASEAN countries, comprising Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei are in India for the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit being held in New Delhi.

On Thursday Modi held bilateral talks with his counterpart from Thailand Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha on strengthening cooperation in strategic areas of trade, defense and security. Modi also held meetings with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the current chair of the ASEAN grouping, and Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Hassanal Bolkiah. The prime minister has had bilateral meetings with six ASEAN leaders since Wednesday.

The ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit will mark 25 years of India’s ties with the Southeast Asian bloc.

In a series of tweets after these meetings, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “Our ‘Act East’ complementing Thailand’s Act West policy! Prime Minister Modi met with PM of Thailand.”

Kumar also tweeted, “Strategic partnership rooted in commercial, cultural and people-to-people contacts!…Modi had a productive discussion with Singapore’s Lee Hsien Loong on economic and commercial ties, FinTech, tourism, enhanced connectivity and Smart Cities.”

Modi on meeting with Brunei’s Sultan, Kumar tweeted, “Bolstering ties with Brunei Darussalam! the prime minister…and his Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah had positive discussion on cooperation in defence and security, energy, ICT, education, health and space.”

On the eve of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit Modi had held bilateral meetings with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday.

All 10 ASEAN heads of state and government who will attend this year’s Republic Day (26 January) celebrations as guests of honour. This will be the first time that all the 10 leaders will be attending Republic Day as all these years only one foreign country has attended the event as the chief guest.