MANILA -- Malacanang on Monday confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the India-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Commemorative Summit slated from Jan. 24 to 26 in New Delhi, India.
I would like to confirm that the President will attend India-ASEAN Summit, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during a Palace press briefing.
Roque said President Duterte's participation was the result of his bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit held in Manila last year.
Modi attended the 15th India-ASEAN Summit and the 12th East Asia Summit in Manila upon the invitation of President Duterte.
He (Duterte) placed great importance to our relationship with India which is considered an emerging economy, Roque said.
He said Duterte had also considered a personal appeal of Indian ambassador to the Philippines Jaideep Mazumdar.
Mazumdar said the Philippines was the only country that was not represented by a head of state during the 2012 India-ASEAN Summit held in India.
That's why he has confirmed his attendance, Roque told the media.
The India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit is the first ASEAN Summit under the chairmanship of Singapore which, Roque said, was very supportive of the Philippines' ASEAN chairmanship last year.
The summit will be the first foreign trip of President Duterte this year. It is an international trade meet in which India holds a dialogue with the 10 ASEAN nations to celebrate New Delhi's diplomatic relations with region.
Other ASEAN member states are Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam and Myanmar.
According to media reports, trade between India and ASEAN reached USD71 billion in 2016-17, comprising 10.85 percent of India's total trade with the world.
Source: Philippine News Agency