Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Seoul on Monday, on the last leg of his three nations visit to upgrade ties with South Korea adding that time for 'Act East' is now.
"Earlier, it was 'Look East Policy'. We have had enough of looking east. We now have 'Act East Policy' - a key component of my government's foreign policy," Modi told the Indian diaspora during a community reception at the Kyung Hee University in the South Korean capital.
‘Look East Policy’ covers consolidation efforts for economic and strategic relations with the Southeast Asian countries to stand powerful in the region and defend itself against Chinese influence, developed and implied by Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao during his government in the 1990’s. ,
He also claimed that India, which is a member of BRICS, was teetering and almost collapsed, but is now under his government and the country regained its power.
"Since the last one year, the world is now saying that I (India) is an important segment of BRICS and the grouping can not be imagined without I (India)," said Modi.
He called international investors to come and invest in India as he was talking about changes in Indian economy comparing it with the past and also mentioned about his desire to make India a manufacturing centre using the world’s best technology.
India and South Korea signed seven bilateral agreements and decided to convert ties to a special strategic partnership in the region.
"Our relationship started with a strong economic emphasis. But, it has also now become strategic in content," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
"The decision to upgrade bilateral ties reflect how seriously we take the new framework of our relationship. Republic of Korea is the second country with which India will have a diplomatic and security dialogue in 2+2 format," he added.
PM Modi also said that South Korea is a key element in India's economic modernization.
Modi requested President Park to support the participation of Korean companies in the defence sector in India. He also said both country share the same maritime policy in the region.
"We agreed to work together and with other countries in the region to ensure the freedom of navigation and safety and security of sea lanes of communication. Challenges of cyber security and terrorism are also areas of interest to both of us," the PM said.
He pointed out the importance of developing with the neighbours and added that India’s progress will turn the Asian dream to reality.
"My Asian dream is one in which all of Asia rises together...The future I dream for India is the future I seek for our neighbours. Our growth must be more inclusive within and across nations," Modi said.