India Abroad

Know All About 10 ASEAN Leaders Attending 69th Republic Day Parade

| January 26 , 2018 , 15:23 IST

This Republic Day witnessed the presence of 10 heads of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) along with 700 students from the guest countries at the event. 

The significance of the ASEAN leaders attending the event is that ASEAN completed 50 years of formation and that India completed 25 years of its partnership with the group.

Here are the ASEAN leaders who attended 69th Republic Day 2018 parade:

Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia since 2014, is the first in his country without a high-ranking political or military background. Also served as the Governor of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. 

Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore since 2004, son of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding father and first prime minister. He has tried to balance his country’s relations with India, especially in defence. The two countries even signed a Bilateral Agreement for Navy Cooperation last November.

Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Vietnam since 2016, and member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Vietnam has become a key focus area within India’s “Act East” policy. Soon after Phuc came to power, Modi visited Hanoi announcing a $500 million line of credit for defence cooperation.

Dato Sri Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia since 2009, the head of the United Malays National Organization since 2009. Last year, the Malaysian prime minister visited India for the third time, signing agreements to boost political and economic ties between both the countries.

General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand since August 2014, a retired Royal Thai Army officer. Last year PM of Thailand made his first official trip to India, to laid out plans to expand trade and investments on both sides, improve regional connectivity, notably through the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway.

Aung San Suu Kyi, State Councillor of Myanmar, Nobel prize-winner politician. Despite holding the official title of state counsellor, Suu Kyi is deemed Myanmar’s de facto leader. 

Rodrigo Duterte, President of Philippines since 2016. The 71-year-old is the oldest in his country to hold the position as a President. Last year, he hosted the first trip made by PM Modi to the island nation, The two leaders signed several deals to boost defence and logistics cooperation. 

Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan of Brunei, one of the world’s longest reigning monarchs, The oil and gas-rich nation has stepped up its defence cooperation with India after the two countries signed a pact in 2016.

Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister of Laos since 2016, previously served as the Deputy Prime Minister from 2001 to 2016. He was also the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2016. He met Modi during the 14th India-ASEAN Summit held in Laos.

Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia since 1985. He is Cambodia's longest-serving head of government. While India and Cambodia have remained friendly for decades, the latter’s also close to China which, again, has invested billions of dollars there.

The ASEAN flag waved in the sky over Rajpath, for the first time this Republic Day.