Modi To Begin 3 Day Visit To Philippines On Sunday

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for the Philippines on November 12 on a three-day visit to attend the India-ASEAN and East Asia summits during which boosting regional trade and combating terrorism and extremism are likely to be among the focus areas.

Officials said India’s proposal to host an international conference on countering radicalisation may be discussed during the deliberations at Manila as New Delhi is now looking at finalising the dates for the conclave.

The Prime Minister will have a tight schedule in the Philippines as besides attending the 15th ASEAN-India summit and 12th East Asia summit on November 14, he will have a series of other engagements including bilateral meetings with several leaders.

While the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit is likely to focus more on trade and investment related issues, leaders at the East Asia Summit are expected to deliberate on matters relating to maritime security, terrorism, non-proliferation and migration.

“ASEAN is central to India’s Act East policy. Therefore our Prime Minister’s participation in the ASEAN-India summit and the East Asia Summit provides a very important opportunity to reiterate our commitment to our partnership,” Secretary East in the external affairs ministry Preeti Saran told reporters.

She said the prime minister will also participate in the ASEAN business and investment summit as well as a meeting of leaders of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The RCEP, comprising 10-member ASEAN bloc and six other countries — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, is engaged in negotiations for a free trade pact. Saran said India remained committed to participation in the RCEP.

In his maiden visit to the Philippines as the prime minister, Modi will also attend a reception by the Indian community and visit the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Mahavir Philippines Foundation.

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