The mutual trust and determination among the Quad member countries is giving new energy to democratic forces and encouraging a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Tuesday at the second in-person summit of the four-nation grouping.
The Prime Minister said Quad is moving ahead with a constructive agenda for the Indo-Pacific which will further strengthen its image of a "force for good".
Modi made the remarks in presence of US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and newly elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
In his opening remarks at the summit, Prime Minister Modi said the Quad has gained a significant place at the world stage in a short span of time.
"We have increased coordination in areas of vaccine delivery, climate action, supply chain resilience, disaster response, economic cooperation and adverse situations arising out of Covid-19 pandemic,'' he said.
He said the cooperation among the Quad countries in various areas is contributing to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
The summit is taking place at a time when relations between China and the member countries of the Quad have become tense in the last few years with Beijing increasingly challenging democratic values and resorting to coercive trade practices.
In line with its long-term vision for the region, Biden on Monday launched the ambitious Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), which is an initiative aimed at deeper cooperation among like-minded countries in areas like clean energy, supply-chain resilience and digital trade.
The rollout of the IPEF is expected to send across a signal that the US is focused on pushing forward a strong economic policy for the region to counter China's aggressive strategy on trade in the region.
Attending the event to launch the IPEF, Prime Minister Modi said that the announcement of IPEF is a declaration of a collective desire to make the Indo-Pacific region an engine of global economic growth.
Modi also called for finding common and creative solutions to tackle economic challenges of the Indo-Pacific region.
The Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia.
President Biden welcomed Prime Minister Modi at the Quad Summit, saying "it's wonderful to see you again in person."
"We share the same goal of ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific that will deliver greater prosperity and greater opportunity for all of our children. I am looking forward to continuing to work with all of you and to strengthen economic cooperation to deliver inclusive growth and shared prosperity," Biden said in his opening remarks.
In a statement, before he left for Japan on Sunday, Modi had said the summit will provide an opportunity for the leaders to review the progress of the Quad initiatives and exchange views about developments in the Indo-Pacific region and global issues of mutual interest.
"United by shared democratic values. Committed to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. The Quad Leaders' Summit with PM @narendramodi, PM @AlboMP of Australia, PM @kishida230 of Japan and President @JoeBiden of USA @POTUS gets underway in Tokyo," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.
"An opportunity for the Leaders to exchange views about regional and global developments, review progress of Quad initiatives, identify new areas of cooperation and provide strategic guidance for future collaboration," he said in another tweet.
The summit is taking place under the shadow of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida said that Russian invasion of Ukraine has challenged the principles enshrined in the UN Charter.
The summit is also taking place at a time when the relations between China and the Quad member countries have become tense, with Beijing increasingly challenging democratic values and resorting to coercive trade practices.
India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military manoeuvring in the region.
China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea
In March last year, President Biden hosted the first-ever summit of the Quad leaders in the virtual format that was followed by an in-person summit in Washington in September. The Quad leaders also held a virtual meeting in March.
In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence, amidst China's growing military presence in the strategic region.