President to leave on 10-day tour of Vietnam, Indonesia tomorrow

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New Delhi, Nov 23 (UNI) President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will begin tomorrow a ten-day state visit to Vietnam and Indonesia, leading a high-level Parliamentary delegation to provide further impetus to India's "Look East" initiative.

The President's tour, although described as "reciprocal" in nature, will bolster India's economic, cultural, strategic ties and bilateral relations with the two fast developing neighbouring ASEAN countries.

Of the four-day sojourn in Vietnam, President Patil will have a two-day halt each at Ho Chin Minh City and Hanoi, before flying to Indonesia where she will spend two days in Bali and three days in the capital city of Jakarta. She will return here on December 3.

Ms Patil will be the third Indian President visiting Vietnam after Dr Rajendra Prasad (1959) and Mr R Venkatraman (1991). Former President K R Narayanan had visited the country in 1993 when he was the Vice President. Besides former Prime Ministers Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru (1954), Mr Rajiv Gandhi (1985), Mr Narasimha Rao (1994) and Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee (2001) had also visited Vietnam.

The delegation comprises Minister of State for Commerce and Industries Ashwini Kumar, and three Members of Parliament Mr Haribhau M Jawale, Ms Rubab Syeda and Ms Agatha Sangma.

Besides, a high-level business delegation led by Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) has already reached Vietnam to identify areas of investment, trade and economic collaborations, prior to the President's visit .

The President is likely to have separate meetings with her Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Minh Triet, and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at Hanoi where she will be reaching on November 26.

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