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Modi’s five-day visit to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to boost Act East Policy

By Vinod

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on three-nation visit to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore from May 29 to June 2, 2018. The PM's visit to these Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) would give boost to India's Act East Policy. The Ministry of external affairs recently had a meeting of north-easten states of India to give of boost to this policy.

Modi’s five-day visit to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to boost Act East Policy

India will have talks with Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore on slew of issues from business to technology to military cooperation as these three Asean countries are Strategic Partners of India. The External Affairs Ministry said that Prime Minister's official engagements in Jakarta and Singapore include bilateral meetings with the leadership of the country, delegation level talks, meetings with business honchos and people from Indian community.

The ministry outlines that India attaches high importance to its relations with the Asean region and is committed to deepening its relationship with individual Asean member states, within the framework of the government's Act East Policy. The visit would enable the leaders to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

While Indonesia hosts the Asean Secretariat, Singapore is at present the Chair of Asean. Modi is at present in Indonesia and holding a summit with President Joko Widodo in Jakarta. This will be his first official visit to that southeast Asian nation. The two leaders will then inaugurate a kite festival jointly organised by Museum Layang Layang of Jakarta and the Kite Museum of Ahmedabad.

The Indian Prime Minister will address CEOs forum and people of the Indian community in Indonesia which constitute around 100,000 people and around 7,000 non resident Indians (NRIs). Indonesia is India's largest trading partner among the Asean with bilateral trade standing at around $18 billion. Around 250,000 jobs have been created by Indian companies in Indonesia.

Modi will make a brief stopover in Malaysia on his way from Indonesia to Singapore on May 31 where he will meet newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is governing the country for over two decades. At the age of 92, he is the world's oldest elected leader earlier this month.

The PM will reach Singapore on May 31 and will begin his engagements by visiting an India-Singapore Enterprise and Innovation Exhibition. He will participate in a business and community event where he will talk about India's economic engagement with the Asean. Modi will also participate in a CEOs Round Table with the top 20 CEOs of Singapore.

On June 1, Modi will call on Singapore President Halimah Yacob and hold a summit with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Later on he will visit Nanyang Technological University, which is regarded as the top technological university in Asia. After these engagements, he will deliver a keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue, becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to do so in the Track I annual inter-governmental security forum. He will unveil a plaque of Mahatma Gandhi on June 2.

Singapore is an important partner for India in terms of security, economy and technology and plays important role New Delhi's ties with Asean. There are around 8,000 Indian companies registered in Singapore and is home to around 800,000 people of Indian origin. Modi will also visit the Indian Heritage Centre to inaugurate a special exhibition on Indian symbols, scripts and handicrafts. Before departure for India, Modi will go to the Changi naval base where he will visit an Indian naval ship and interact with officers and sailors of the Indian Navy and the Royal Singapore Navy.

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