Local Goa News

Friday, September 2, 2016

Looking East, PM embarks on another foreign trip

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had curtailed his foreign visits in 2016 with just five visits during past eight months will have a busy calendar week ahead with an important bilateral visit beginning on Friday and three crucial multi-lateral summits following in quick succession.

On Friday, the PM left for Vietnam where he will hold bilateral meetings with the Vietnamese leadership on Saturday. From Vietnam, PM Modi will leave for Hangzhou, China, where he will attend this year's G-20 Summit being held on September 4-5. From Hangzhou, he will return to India on September 5, but two days later will leave for Vientiane, Laos, where he will attend the 14th India-Asean Summit and the 11th East Asia Summit being held on September 7 and 8.

"In Vietnam, I will have the opportunity to pay homage to Ho Chi Minh, one of 20th century's tallest leaders. I will lay a wreath at the Monument of National Heroes and Martyrs as well as visit the Quan Su Pagoda," the Prime Minister said in his Facebook post.

Addressing a media briefing here, Preeti Saran, secretary (East) in the external affairs ministry, said that Vietnam is the country coordinator for India with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). The Prime Minister will meet with the top Vietnamese leadership, including General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Chairman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

India's bilateral trade with Vietnam now stands at $7.8 billion and India has surplus trade with Vietnam of around $2.8 billion. Regarding the India-Asean and East Asia Summits, the Secretary said that this is the third time that Prime Minister Modi would be participating in these events.

At the 14th India-Asean Summit, PM Modi and Asean leaders will review India-Asean cooperation and discuss its future direction under each of the three pillars of politico-security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation, according to statement issued by the external affairs ministry.

The East Asia Summit is attended by the leaders of the 10 Asean member states, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Russia.

In a separate briefing, Sujata Mehta, Secretary (West) in the external affairs ministry, said that on the sidelines of G-20 Summit in China, PM Modi will have a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but bilateral meetings with other world leaders are still being worked out that included a one-to-one meeting with the US President Barack Obama. The presence of both Chinese and the US President may be an opportunity for India to once again put its case for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) forcefully.

According to Mehta, India's priorities at the G-20 will be cross-border mobility particularly in services, reduction in remittance costs from overseas Indians, poverty eradication, moderation in consumption and more sustainable lifestyle, and improved technology access.

Modi, Xi to meet on Sunday, may discuss China-Pak corridor
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet on Sunday on the first day of the G-20 summit here and are likely to discuss bilateral differences over issues including the proposed USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which runs through PoK.

The Modi-Xi meeting assumes significance as India-China relations have followed a southward trajectory over contentious issues like the listing of Pakistan-based terrorist groups in the UN, China stalling India's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that criss-crosses Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

During Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Delhi this month, India and China formed a mechanism led by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister to address their differences.

DNA India News

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