India to enhance bilateral ties with Vietnam and Indonesia

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New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will embark on a ten-day tour of Vietnam and Indonesia on November 24 to further promote India's "Look East" policy and strengthen ties with the two fast developing ASEAN countries.

"The visit will essentially reaffirm India's commitment to and enhance our engagements with the two countries which are its close friends and to promote ASEAN fraternity in line with 'Look-East' initiative," Mr Neelkanthan Ravi, Secretary (East), in the External Affairs Ministry, told newspersons here today.

He said both the countries were developing very fast and having an economic growth of more than 6% in the past dacade. Indonesia's progress was significant despite the fact it was badly shaken by Tsunami and two earthquakes during the period.

The President will have a two-day halt each at Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi in Vietnam and spend two days at Bali, Indonesia and three days at the capital town of Jakarta, Indonesia before returning to New Delhi on December 3.

Mr Ravi said the visit to the two ASEAN countries would provide an opportunity to further cement and promote India's age-old relations and explore ways to further enhance trade with them.

At Ho Chi Minh City the President will also attend a business meeting on November 25 between a delegation of FICCI and Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce.

After official-level talks between the two sides at Hanoi, the President will hold separate talks with Vietnamese President Ngyuen Minh Triet and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. The Vietnamese Prime Minister had visited India last year.

Similarly her visit to Indonesia is in return of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's visit to India in 2005.

Since both India and Indonesia, having close geographical links, and cultural ties, the visit would further strengthen the ties, and provide enduring partnership in many fields for the benefit of both the countries.

UNI KAS RP HS1932

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