PM arrives in Cambodia to attend ASEAN, East Asia Summits

PM arrives in Cambodia to attend ASEAN, East Asia Summits

PM arrives in Cambodia to attend ASEAN, East Asia Summits

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in the Cambodian capital today to attend the ASEAN and East Asia Summits which will provide an opportunity for India to enhance its economic cooperation with the region amid lingering financial crisis in the western world.

Singh is here for three days during which he is also expected to have a meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and some other world leaders on the sidelines of the ASEAN and EAS Summits.

Before his arrival here, Singh said in a statement that India's partnership with 10-nation ASEAN is an important component of the 'Look East Policy'.

"This year marks the 20th anniversary of our dialogue partnership and 10th anniversary of Summit-level engagement with ASEAN," he said, adding India is celebrating this milestone by hosting a special commemorative summit in New Delhi next month.

Noting that India's engagement with ASEAN has become strong, comprehensive and multi-faceted over the last decade, Singh said, "The Summit in Phnom Penh will give us an opportunity to preview and prepare an ambitious agenda for the Summit next month to take the India-ASEAN relationship to a new level."

About the 18-nation EAS, he described it as the "foremost forum for promoting peace, stability and prosperity" in the Asia-Pacific region.

"This year, we are preparing to launch the negotiations for a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership among ASEAN and its FTA partners, including India. This is a giant step towards creation of an economic community in the region," he said.

This forum, Singh said, also serves as a useful platform for enhancing cooperation in the region and discussing regional security issues.