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India needs policy to look east, link west : PM Narendra Modi

New Delhi, Sep 25 Placing his forthcoming US visit in the context of his recent engagements with leaders from the Asia-Pacific region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said India needs a policy that looks east as well as “links west”.

“We have been discussing the ‘Look East’ policy for some time. We should also talk about ‘Link West’,” Modi said launching the “Make in India” campaign designed to put India prominently on the global manufacturing map.

The prime minister leaves Thursday for the US to atttend the UN General Assembly session and meet with President Barack Obama in Washington to repair ties that had cooled somewhat under the previous UPA government.

Modi’s US visit comes on the back of last week’s hosting of Chinese President Xi Jinping, when, despite border incursions by Chinese troops casting a shadow on talks, the two nations charted a new chapter in economic ties with Beijing announcing $20 billion investment in India over the next five years.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott preceeded the Chinese president to India earlier this month, when a deal was signed allowing Australian uranium exports to India.

Modi undertook his first bilateral visit as prime minister outside India’s neighbourhood when he travelled to Japan last month for talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Among the agreements both countries are working to achieve is on civil nuclear cooperation. India wants a deal, similar to one negotiated with the US.

Also last month, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj went on a tour of Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam to attend the India-ASEAN ministerial meeting, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) foreign ministers’ meeting and the East Asia summit ministerial meeting all of which reflect the various facets of India’s Look East policy.