Narendra Modi: Hope my southeast Asia visit will boost Act East Policy

Updated: May 29, 2018, 08:01 IST | IANS

In a pre-departure statement, Narendra Modi said that he will reach Jakarta on May 29 on the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, in his first visit to Indonesia as Prime Minister

Narendra Modi. Pic/PTI
Narendra Modi. Pic/PTI

Ahead of his five-day three-nation tour of southeast Asia starting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed the hope that the visit will further boost India's Act East policy.

In a pre-departure statement, Modi said that he will reach Jakarta on May 29 on the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, in his first visit to Indonesia as Prime Minister.

"I am looking forward to my discussions with President Widodo on May 30 as also to our joint interaction with the India-Indonesia CEOs Forum." Stating that he will also address the Indian community in Indonesia, he said that India and Indonesia enjoy strong and friendly ties and share deep historical and civilizational linkages, being "multi-ethnic, multi-religious, plural and open societies".

"I am confident that my visit to Indonesia will create greater synergy between Asia's two largest democracies and further elevate our bilateral ties." The Prime Minister said that on May 31, on his way to Singapore from Indonesia he will briefly halt at in Malaysia to congratulate the new Malaysian leadership. "I look forward to meet Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad," he said. Mahathir, who governed for more than two decades became, at the age of 92, the world's oldest elected leader earlier this month. Modi said that in Singapore he will be focusing on enhancing India-Singapore partnership in areas of fintech, skill development, urban planning and artificial intelligence.

"Singapore entities have become major partners with India in areas like urban development, planning, smart cities and infrastructure development," he said. "My visit in Singapore presents an opportunity for both countries to engage further." He said that on May 31, he will visit an India-Singapore enterprise and innovation exhibition and also address a business and community event followed by a roundtable meeting with select top CEOs of Singapore to discuss business and investment opportunities.

On June 1, Modi said he will call on Singapore President Halimah Yacob and also hold delegation-level talks with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loon. He also said that he looked forward to his visit to the Nanyang Technological University where he would interact with young students.

"That evening, I will deliver the keynote address at Shangri-La Dialogue. "This will be the first time that an Indian Prime Minister would deliver this address. It would be an opportunity to articulate India's point of view on regional security issues and maintenance of peace and stability in the region." Shangri-La Dialogue is a premier Track I annual inter-governmental security forum.

Modi said that on June 2, he will unveil a plaque at Clifford Pier in Singapore, where Mahatma Gandhi's ashes were immersed in sea on March 27, 1948. "I would also visit some places of worship that have civilizational linkages with India," he said.

He said that before leaving for India he will go to the Changi Naval Base in Singapore where he will visit the Indian Naval Ship INS Satpura and interact with officers and sailors of the Indian Navy and Royal Singapore Navy. "I am confident that my visit to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore will provide a further boost to our Act East Policy and enhance our relations and engagements with all the three countries," Modi said.

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