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Singapore engagements to boost India’s ties with Asean, Indo-Pacific region: Modi

November 14
10:11 2018

New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS) Ahead of his visit to Singapore on November 14-15 for the annual India-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and East Asia Summits, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that his engagements there will help boost ties with Southeast Asia and the wider Indo-Pacific region.

“I will be visiting Singapore on 14-15 November to participate in the Asean-India and East Asia Summits (EAS),” Modi said in a pre-departure statement here.

“In addition, I would also participate in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) leaders’ meeting.”

“My participation in these meetings symbolizes our continued commitment to strengthening our engagement with Asean member states and with the wider Indo-Pacific region.”

Modi will attend the 13th EAS and his fifth India-Asean Summit during his 36-hour visit to the Southeast Asian city state.

The EAS member states comprise the 10 Asean nations — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam — along with Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the US and Russia.

The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement between the Asean member states and the six countries with which this regional bloc has existing Free Trade Agreements — Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

The RCEP is expected to be concluded by the end of the year as New Delhi continues to increase its engagement with Southeast Asia under its Act East Policy.

On November 14, Modi will also deliver the keynote address at the Singapore Fintech Summit. India will be the largest participant at the event with 400 exhibitors.

Modi said that he will also have the opportunity to interact with the participants and winners of the joint India-Singapore Hackathon.

“It is my firm belief that if we provide the right encouragement and a nurturing ecosystem, our youth has the ability to become global leaders in providing solutions to the challenges facing humanity.”

“I am confident that my visit to Singapore will impart fresh momentum to our growing partnership with Asean and East Asia Summit nations,” he said.

India-Asean ties have acquired renewed momentum under New Delhi’s Act East Policy.

In January, India hosted the Asean-India Commemorative Summit to celebrate 25 years of dialogue partnership, 15 years of summit level interaction and five years of strategic partnership.

The Asean-India Summit in Singapore will provide an opportunity to review progress in the relationship, according to a statement issued by the External Affairs here.

It said that Modi will join other leaders to discuss international developmental issues such as smart cities, maritime cooperation, education, finance, food security, environment and energy.

“They will also deliberate on global and regional issues of mutual interest,” it stated.

On the sidelines of the summits, Modi will also hold bilateral meetings with Singapore Prime Minister Li Hsien Loong and US Vice President Mike Pence among other leaders.

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