NEW DELHI, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- India has invited the heads of state or government of all the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to its Republic Day parade and celebrations on Jan. 26 next year, sources said Wednesday.
India showcases its military might at its Republic Day parade every year on Jan. 26, and it will be the first time ever that so many world leaders will attend the same event as chief guests with Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The unusual step has been taken to commemorate the 70th year of India's independence from Britain as well as the 25th anniversary of India-ASEAN ties. And a day before, that is Jan. 25, Delhi will host the India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit," sources said.
In principle, all the ASEAN leaders have accepted India's invitation to attend the Republic Day parade on the iconic Rajpath overlooking the Rashtrapati Bhawan (presidential house) in the heart of the national capital, sources added.
India's ties with ASEAN countries have been on an upward trend, particularly in the areas of trade and investment.
While investment from ASEAN to India has been over 70 billion U.S. dollars in the past 17 years accounting for 17 percent of India's total foreign direct investment, India's investment in the bloc during the same period was more than 40 billion U.S. dollars.
Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are the 10 members of ASEAN.