PM to visit Thailand from Nov 2-4 for ASEAN

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Thailand from November 2-4 during which he will attend the ASEAN-India, East Asia and RCEP summits to strengthen regional cooperation in key areas such as trade, maritime security and connectivity, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

Modi will be visiting Bangkok at the invitation of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Secretary East Vijay Thakur Singh said at a media briefing.

He will attend the 16th ASEAN-India summit, 14th East Asia Summit and third Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) summit and related events, she said.

Prime Minister Modi will arrive in Bangkok on November 2 evening and his first engagement will be to address the Indian community at the national indoor stadium in Bangkok.

The Indian community in Thailand is about 250,000 and at the meeting, the prime minister will be releasing a commemorative coin marking the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev as well as a Thai translation of the Tirukkural -- a Tamil classic, Singh said.

On November 3, Modi will participate in a business event and then co-chair the ASEAN-India summit with the Thai prime minister.

The ASEAN-India meeting will take stock of the progress made in the relationship.

"Several initiatives of India are under implementation for example our commitment to 1,000 scholarships at IITs. Its implementation began in September this year. This has a budget of about Rs 300 crore," Singh said.

India and ASEAN are also working on centres of excellence in software and India is in close consultations with ASEAN partners to identify specific projects under its USD 1 billion credit.

Enhancing connectivity, deepening our economic partnership, enhancing our partnership in the digital domain, including in cybersecurity, and increasing maritime cooperation are some of the key themes of the India-ASEAN collaboration, Singh said.

In November, the PM has three important engagements -- the first of one be to attend a special lunch hosted by the Thai premier for the leaders of the East Asia Summit participating countries.

The leaders on this platform will exchange views on progressing the internal sustainable agenda in line with the theme chosen by Thailand -- 'Advancing Partnerships for Sustainability'.

The second engagement Prime Minister Modi would be to attend the East Asia Summit -- a platform where the leaders hold discussions on various developments in the region, Singh said, adding that the agenda would be to review future cooperation.

Final engagement will be the RCEP summit where leaders will review the state of negotiations which are ongoing in Bangkok currently and over the next few days, she said.

The RCEP bloc comprises 10 ASEAN group members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners - India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

The prime minister will also hold a number of bilaterals which are being worked out. 

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