PM Narendra Modi on Thailand visitNovember 02, 2019
Commerce Minister’s Delhi briefing in India on PM’s RCEP move
PM Modi leaves Bangkok to return to New Delhi
MEA briefing on East Asia and RCEP summits:
MEA briefing: Today’s the third and the last day of Prime Ministers visit. His engagements today included bilateral meetings with the Prime Ministers of Japan, Vietnam and Australia. He also participated in the 14th East Asia Summit as well as the third RCEP Summit and participated at a special lunch hosted by Thailand. At the launch event the leaders had exchanged their views on global sustainable development agenda. In this context a statement on Partnership for Sustainability was adopted by the leaders at the 14th East Asia Summit. This is the sixth time that Prime Minister is participating in the East Asia Summit and at this summit which is the 14th, the leaders reviewed the future direction of EAS and also exchanged views on regional and international issues such as Indo-Pacific, terrorism, violent extremism and transnational crimes. They also discussed South China Sea, the situation in the Korean Peninsula as well as in the Rakhine State in Myanmar.
Prime Minister underlined the priority India attaches to firm and unambiguous action against terrorism which is the most heinous trans-border crime as also action against those who abet, shelter and support terrorist groups.
EAS leaders emphasized the imperative of acting against terrorist groups, violent extremism and also the use of internet for radicalism and terrorism. Apart from articulating India’s position on these issues, which I mentioned above, India welcomed ASEAN’s outlook on Indo-Pacific, reaffirmed ASEAN centrality in the region and highlighted convergence with our own Indo-Pacific vision.
In this light Prime Minister proposed an Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative to conserve and sustainably use the maritime domain and to make meaningful efforts to create a safe, secure and stable maritime domain. Focus areas of this initiative include creating partnerships among interested States in several pillars ranging from enhancing maritime security to preserving and sustainably using marine resources, building capacity, disaster prevention and management as well as working together in trade and maritime transport.
Thailand as the current chair of ASEAN thanked Prime Minister for this initiative and looked forward to discussing this further. And Australia has already indicated its interest in working with India to develop this initiative. Prime Minister also announced some other initiatives at the East Asia Summit. These included an EAS seminar on maritime security and cooperation which is scheduled in 2020 in Chennai.
In the East Asia Summit the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the further strengthening of the EAS and three statements were adopted by the leaders. One on partnership for sustainability which I mentioned earlier, combating the spread of illicit drugs and cooperation to combat national crimes. These were adopted and to combat the spread of illicit drugs, so these were the three statements which were adopted by the leaders. Then Prime Minister, I will go through the bilateral meetings, Prime Minister’s bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan, in that the two leaders reviewed the progress on Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project and welcome to the inaugural 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue which will focus on bilateral security and defense cooperation. The two leaders also agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation including in third countries for peace, progress and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region. Our prime minister looked forward to Prime Minister Abe’s visit to India for the India Japan Annual Summit in December 2019.
The second bilateral which Prime Minister had was with the prime minister of Vietnam who will now take over the chair of ASEAN and so he said that we would fully support Vietnam as it is the chair of ASEAN next year in its work. The two leaders then reaffirmed the commitment and the importance that they attach to the comprehensive strategic partnership. They reviewed the progress which is being made in the bilateral relationship in defense and security. They looked at the economic partnership and working together in various fields including in the oil and gas sector.
They welcomed to the commencement of direct flights between the two countries. You have flight now between Calcutta and Ho Chi Minh City and Vietjet will also be starting a flight from Hanoi to Delhi. So in all to all both the leaders spoke about the importance that this relationship has in the Indo-Pacific region. Prime Minister of Vietnam invited Prime Minister Modi to visit Vietnam. And this is a part of the high-level exchanges that we have between the two countries.
The third bilateral Prime Minister had was the Prime Minister of Australia and they also reviewed the entire bilateral relationship and they affirmed that they would work towards building on the strategic partnership that we have and all its areas in particular areas which were mentioned were maritime cooperation, business and investment, defense and security, Science and Technology. So a range of four areas in which the two countries will be working together. Prime Minister Scott Morrison accepted the invitation of Prime Minister to visit India and he would, during his visit, be the keynote speaker at the Raisina Dialogue in January 2020. Prime Minister’s last engagement was his participation in the third RCEP Summit. India conveyed its decision at the summit not to join the RCEP agreement. This reflects both assessment of the current global situation as well as of the fairness and balance of the agreement. India had significant issues of core interest that remained unresolved. In his remarks on the subject Prime Minister highlighted that he was guided by the impact it would have on the lives and livelihoods of all Indians especially vulnerable sections of society. He spoke of Mahatma Gandhiji’s advice on recalling the face of the weakest and the poorest and then ask if the steps are of any use to them.
India has participated in good faith in the RCEP discussions and has negotiated hard with a clear-eyed view of our interests. In the given circumstances we believe that not joining the agreement is the right decision for India. We would continue to persevere in strengthening our trade, investment and people-to-people relations with this region. Prime minister would be returning to New Delhi later this evening. Thank you. Official Spokesperson, Shri Raveesh Kumar: Ma’am thank you very much. The three press releases on Prime Ministers bilaterals are all uploaded on the website.
Question: On the RCEP, you said that Prime Minister clearly conveyed our decision not to join RCEP. Does that mean that we are not going to be joining RCEP at all or is it a holding operation that we have some issues which are not satisfactorily addressed, that before this we heard that negotiations went down the wire. And also the question related to that is what impact will it have given the centrality or the increasing profile of Act East and Indo-Pacific in our foreign policy, what kind of message it sends to the region?
Meeting of Prime Minister with Prime Minister of Vietnam
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met H.E. Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Socialist Republic of Vietnam on the sidelines of India-ASEAN and East Asia Summit 2019 at Bangkok on 04 November 2019.
The Leaders reaffirmed the historical and traditional friendly relations between the two countries and emphasized that India-Vietnam relations have been built on a firm foundation of cultural and civilisational links and are marked by mutual trust and understanding as well as strong cooperation in regional and international fora.
It was highlighted during the meeting that recent high-level exchanges between both countries have resulted in robust cooperation in several areas, expansion of defence and security ties, forging of closer economic and commercial linkages and deepening of people-to-people engagement.
Noting the enhanced engagement in defence and security fields, both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in maritime domain. The two leaders discussed the threat of extremism and terrorism and agreed to work closely to tackle this menace.
The two sides reiterated their desire to promote peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. Both leaders committed to the maintenance of a rules-based order that is based on respect for international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This will promote independence of navigation, overflight and rules-based trade in South China Sea.
Prime Minister Modi conveyed India’s readiness to work closely with Vietnam as the incoming Chairman of ASEAN for 2020, and during its tenure as non-permanent member of UNSC for2020-2021.
Meeting of Prime Minister with Prime Minister of Australia
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met H.E. Mr Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia on the sidelines of India-ASEAN and East Asia Summit 2019 at Bangkok on 04 November 2019.
During the meeting both leaders reviewed the progress made in bilateral relationship and noted that frequent high level meetings and exchanges at all levels have created positive momentum in the relationship and reaffirmed their desire to further strengthen India-Australia bilateral relations.
The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment for a free, open, transparent and inclusive Indo-Pacific region for promoting peace, security, stability and prosperity. The two leaders noted that the strategic and economic interests of both countries are converging , which opens up opportunities for working together bilaterally, regionally and multilaterally.
Noting the enhanced engagement in defence and security fields, both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in maritime domain. The two leaders discussed the threat of extremism and terrorism and agreed to work closely to tackle this menace.
Prime Minister Modi reiterated his invitation to Australian Prime Minister to visit India in January 2020 and to his keynote speech at Raisina Dialogue. Both leaders underlined the need to have thorough preparation to ensure a successful outcome from the visit.
PM’s meeting with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met the Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe on the margins of India-ASEAN and East Asia Summit 2019 at Bangkok on 04 November 2019. The two leaders have met with each other thrice in the last about four months, and their previous meeting was in Vladivostok in September 2019.
The Prime Minister congratulated Prime Minister Abe on the recent coronation of the Emperor of Japan. Prime Minister Abe recalled warmly the participation of the President of India in the ceremony.
Prime Minister Modi said that he eagerly looked forward to welcoming Prime Minister Abe in India next month for India-Japan Annual Summit. He also said that he was convinced of the success of the forthcoming Annual Summit in further deepening the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership.
The leaders welcomed the increasing economic engagement between the two countries, propelled by high-level exchanges. The leaders also reviewed the progress on Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project and reaffirmed their commitment to advance mutual efforts to facilitate the smooth implementation of the project.
The leaders welcomed that the inaugural 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue will take place later this month in India. They agreed that the Dialogue will help provide impetus to the bilateral security and defence cooperation between the two sides.
The two Prime Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment towards a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region based on a rules-based order. They agreed to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation, including in thirdcountries, for achieving the shared objective of peace, prosperity and progress of the Indo-Pacific region.
Prime Minister meeting with State Counsellor of Myanmar
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar on the margins of the ASEAN-India Summit on November 03, 2019. Recalling his last visit to Myanmar in September 2017, and the visit of the State Counsellor to India during the ASEAN-India commemorative Summit in January 2018, the leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress of the vital partnership between the two countries.
Prime Minister emphasized the priority India attaches to Myanmar as a partner at the crossroads of India’s Look East Policy and the Neighbourhood First policies. Towards this end, he emphasized India’s continuing commitment to improve physical connectivity to and through Myanmar to Southeast Asia, including through building road, port and other infrastructure. India would also continue to strongly support the expansion of capacity for Myanmar’s police, military and civil servants, as well as its students and citizens. The leaders agreed that people to people connectivity would help expand the base of the partnership, and therefore welcomed the expansion of air connectivity between the two countries, and the growing interest of India’s businesses in Myanmar, including the plans of the Government of India to host a business event for the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) in Yangon at the end of November 2019.
State Counsellor Daw Suu Kyi reaffirmed the importance her Government attached to the partnership with India, and her appreciation of India’s consistent and sustained support for the widening of democracy and deepening of development in Myanmar.
The two Leaders agreed that a stable and peaceful border was an important anchor for the continued expansion of our partnership. Prime Minister emphasized the value India attaches to Myanmar’s cooperation in ensuring that insurgent groups do not find space to operate across the India-Myanmar border.
With regard to the situation in Rakhine, following the completion of the first Indian project to build 250 prefabricated houses–which were handed over to the Myanmar Government this July–PM expressed India’s readiness to carry out more socio-economic projects in this State. PM emphasized that the speedy, safe and sustainable return from Bangladesh of displaced people to their homes in Rakhine State was in the interests of the region, the displaced persons, and all three neighbouring States: India, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The two Leaders agreed to maintain the tempo of high level interactions in the year ahead, recognizing that strong ties across all pillars of cooperation were in the fundamental interests of both countries.
PM Modi attends Special Lunch on Sustainable Development along with ASEAN leaders, East Asia Summit
PM Modi at ASEAN 2019 gala dinner in Bangkok hosted by Thai PM
MEA India briefing on PM Modi’s ongoing Thailand visit
Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India’s special briefing at Bangkok on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Thailand visit.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met the President of Republic of Indonesia H.E. Joko Widodo in Bangkok on 3 November 2019 on the sidelines of ASEAN/EAS related meetings.
PM Modi congratulated President Widodo on the start of his second term as the President of Indonesia and conveyed that as the world’s two largest democratic and plural societies, India is committed to work with Indonesia to strengthen ties in the areas of defence, security, connectivity, trade and investment and people-to-people exchanges.
Noting that India and Indonesia are close maritime neighbours, both leaders reiterated their commitment to work together for peace, security and prosperity in order to achieve their shared vision on maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The two leaders discussed the threat of extremism and terrorism and agreed to work closely bilaterally and globally to tackle this menace.
Prime Minister Modi had a forward looking discussion on enhancing bilateral trade and highlighted the need for greater market access for Indian commodities including, pharmaceutical, automotive and agricultural products. While noting that Indian companies have made substantial investment in Indonesia, PM Modi invited Indonesian companies to use the opportunities presented in India for investment.
Prime Minister Modi invited President Widodo to visit India at a mutually convenient time next year.
India attaches high priority to its bilateral relationship with Indonesia, with which we share a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This year, India and Indonesia are also commemorating the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met Prime Minister of Thailand Gen(ret.) Prayut Chan-o-Cha on 3rd November 2019 on the sidelines of 35th ASEAN Summit, 14th East Asia Summit(EAS) and 16th India-ASEAN Summit.
During the meeting both leaders reviewed the progress made in bilateral relationship and noted that frequent high level meetings and exchanges at all levels have created positive momentum in the relationship. Noting the enhanced engagement in defence and security fields, both sides agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in defence industries sector. Welcoming 20% growth in bilateral trade last year, leaders decided to task the trade officials to discuss ways and means to enhance trade and investment.
The Prime Ministers also discussed ways to enhance connectivity between the two countries including in the areas of physical and digital connectivity. Both leaders welcomed the growing air connectivity between the two countries and start of a direct flight between Bangkok and Guwahati and also finalisation of agreements for cooperation between Ranong Port, Thailand and Indian ports in Kolkata, Chennai and Vishakapatnam.
The leaders also exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. PM Modi thanked Thai PM for the invitation extended to him to attend the ASEAN related meetings, and also congratulated him on his leadership as Chair of ASEAN. He positively assessed the contribution of Thailand as the Country Coordinator for India-ASEAN Strategic Partnership for further strengthening this relationship.
India and Thailand are close maritime neighbours having historical and cultural linkages. In the contemporary context, India’s ‘Act East’ policy is complimented by Thailand’s ‘Look West’ policy which has made the relationship deep, robust and multifaceted.
PM attends 16th India – ASEAN Summit in Bangkok
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended the 16th ASEAN-India Summit in Bangkok, Thailand today.
In his opening remarks, Prime Minister expressed happiness in being part of the 16th India – ASEAN Summit. He thanked Thailand for the warm hospitality and extended best wishes to Vietnam for taking over as Chairman of next year’s Summit.
Prime Minister said that India’s Act East Policy is a significant cornerstone of the Indo-Pacific strategy; adding that ASEAN is at the core of Act East Policy. A strong ASEAN will immensely benefit India. Prime Minister highlighted steps being taken to improve surface, maritime, air and digital connectivity. One billion dollar Indian line of credit will prove beneficial for improving physical and digital connectivity, he said.
Prime Minister highlighted that last year’s Commemorative Summit and Singapore Informal Summit’s Decisions implementation has brought India and ASEAN closer. India is willing to increase cooperation and partnership in areas mutually beneficial to India and ASEAN and expressed readiness to improve partnership and capacity building in the areas of agriculture, research, engineering, science and ICT.
Prime Minister said that India wants to strengthen cooperation in the areas of maritime security and blue economy. He also welcomed the recent decision to review India ASEAN FTA saying it will improve economic partnership between the two countries.
Text of PM’s opening statement at 16th ASEAN -India Summit in Bangkok
योर एक्सेलेंसी प्रधानमंत्री प्रयुत चान-ओ-चा,
मुझे भारत-आसियान समिट फॉर्मेट में एक बार फिर आपसे मुलाकात करके प्रसन्नता हो रही है। मैं थाईलैंड को उत्कृष्ट व्यवस्था, और उच्चकोटि के आतिथ्य के लिए धन्यवाद देता हूँ। मैं वियतनाम को भी अगले वर्ष आसियान तथा ईस्ट एशिया समिट की अध्यक्षता के लिए शुभकामनाएँ देता हूँ।
मैं भारत और आसियान के बीच इंडो-पसिफ़िक आउटलुक के आपसी समन्वय का स्वागत करता हूँ। भारत की Act East Policy हमारे Indo-Pacific vision का एक महत्वपूर्ण भाग है। ASEAN हमारी Act East Policy का मर्म है और सदैव रहेगा। इंटीग्रेटेड, संगठित और आर्थिक रूप से विकासशील ASEAN भारत के बुनियादी हित में है। हम और मज़बूत surface, maritime और air-connectivity तथा digital-link के माध्यम से अपनी साझेदारी को और बढ़ाने के लिए प्रतिबद्ध हैं। Physical और digital connectivity के लिए $1 billion की line of credit उपयोगी होगी। हमारा इरादा अध्ययन, अनुसंधान, व्यापार और टूरिज्म के लिए लोगों के आवागमन को बहुत बढ़ाने का है।
इस लक्ष्य को प्राप्त करने के लिए भारत ASEAN के साथ आपसी हितों के क्षेत्र में साझेदारी बढ़ाने के लिए तैयार हैं। पिछले साल Commemorative Summit तथा Singapore में Informal Summit में लिए गए निर्णयों को लागू करने से हमारे बीच और घनिष्ठता आई है। कृषि, विज्ञान, रिसर्च, ICT और इंजीनियरिंग जैसे क्षेत्रों में capacity building और पार्टनरशिप को और बढ़ाने के लिए हम तैयार हैं। मैं हाल ही में ASEAN-India FTA की समीक्षा के निर्णय का स्वागत करता हूँ। इससे हमारे आर्थिक सम्बन्ध न सिर्फ़ और मज़बूत बनेंगे बल्कि हमारा व्यापार भी और balanced होगा। मेरीटाइम सुरक्षा, ब्लू इकॉनमी और मानवीय सहायता के क्षेत्रों में भी अपनी साझेदारी को हम मज़बूत बनाना चाहते हैं। योर एक्सेलेंसीज़ के विचारों को सुनने के बाद मैं कुछ पहलुओं पर विस्तार से बात करना चाहूँगा। मैं फिर एक बार थाईलैंड का और आप सबका ह्रदय से बहुत-बहुत आभार व्यक्त करता हूँ।
PM attends Aditya Birla Group Golden Jubilee Celebrations in Thailand
This is the best time to be in India: PM
Thailand 4.0 is complementary to India’s priorities and offers significant opportunities of partnerships: PM
Commerce and Culture have power to bring the world closer: PM
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi attended the celebrations marking 50 years of operation of Aditya Birla Group in Thailand today. Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, Shri Kumar Mangalam Birla, expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister for joining the Group’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations in Thailand.
Addressing the gathering of Government officials and industry leaders, the Prime Minister congratulated the team of the Aditya Birla Group for their commendable work which has led to creation of opportunities and prosperity for many. Talking about the strong cultural linkages between India and Thailand, he said commerce and culture have inherent power to unite and bring the world closer.
Transformative Changes in India
Prime Minister shared several success stories of the government in the last five years. He said that transformative changes have been possible by breaking routine and working in mission mode. What was previously considered impossible is now considered possible and therefore, this is the best time to be in India.
Prime Minister highlighted that India has jumped 79 places in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings in last 5 years – from 142 in 2014 to 63 in 2019, which reflects commitment to reforms to make business environment better. He also stated that on World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, India’s ranking has improved from 65 in 2013 to 34 in 2019. Provision of comfort, convenience and safety through better roads, connectivity, cleanliness and improved law & order has resulted in foreign tourist arrivals increasing by up to 50%.
Stating that money saved is money earned and energy saved in energy generated, Prime Minister talked about plugging leakages and improving efficiency through Direct Benefit Transfer scheme which has resulted in saving of 20 Billion Dollars so far. He also talked about distribution of energy efficient LED lights which has also reduced carbon emissions.
India: An attractive destination for investment
Calling India one the most people friendly tax regimes, Prime Minister highlighted recent steps including lower tax burden on middle class, starting faceless tax assessment to remove scope of harassment, corporate tax rate cut. He said that the introduction of GST has made the dream of economic integration a reality, adding that government is committed to make it more people friendly. All these steps have made India one of the most attractive destinations for investment reflected in the country being among the top 10 FDI destinations as per UNCTAD.
Complementarity with Thailand 4.0
Prime Minister talked about the dream of making India a 5 trillion dollar economy and highlighted how the economy has jumped from about 2 trillion dollars in 2014 to 3 trillion in 2019.
Talking about the Thailand 4.0 initiative of transforming Thailand into a value based economy, he said that it is compatible with and complementary to India’s priorities Digital India, Skill India, Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart Cities, Jal Jeevan Mission etc. and offers significant opportunities for partnership. He added that both the countries should take advantage of geo-political closeness, commonality of culture and goodwill to enhance business partnerships further.
Aditya Birla Group in Thailand
22 years before the Indian economy was formally opened, Shri Aditya Vikram Birla made a pioneering foray into Thailand by setting up a spinning unit. Today, the group has catapulted to become one of the largest enterprises in Thailand with a $1.1 billion diversified business. The Aditya Birla Group’s presence in Thailand through its nine state-of-the-art plants, spans diverse sectors such as textiles, carbon black and chemicals.
PM addresses ‘Sawasdee PM Modi’ community event in Bangkok
Thai translation of ‘Tirukkural’ and Commemorative Coins marking Guru Nanak’s 550th Birth Anniversary released by PM
India-Myanmar-Thailand seamless connectivity through trilateral highway will boost development of entire region: PM
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed the ‘Sawasdee PM Modi’ community event in Bangkok, Thailand today. Thousands of members of Indian diaspora from all over Thailand attended the event.
Historic India-Thailand relations
Prime Minister welcomed the audience in several Indian languages, reflecting the diversity of the Indian diaspora in Thailand. Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister said that this was his first official visit to the country to participate in the India-Asean Summit. He reflected on the age old historic relations between India and Thailand which were forged thousands of years ago through trade relations of Indian coastal states with South-East Asia. These relations have only gained in strength over time reflected in cultural and lifestyle similarities between the two counties.
Prime Minister said that it has been his endeavour to meet people of Indian community in the country he travels to. He appreciated the people present for being the perfect ambassadors of India culture and tradition.
Thai translation of ‘Tirukkural’ and Commemorative Coins marking Guru Nanak’s 550th Birth Anniversary released
Prime Minister unveiled the Thai translation of Thiruvalluvar’s Tamil classic ‘Tirukkural’. He said that the book is a guiding light for living one’s life. He also released commemorative coins minted to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, adding that the teachings of Guru Nanak are heritage for entire humanity. He said that from 9th November, direct connectivity will be established to Kartarpur Sahib via the Kartarpur Corridor, welcoming everyone to come and visit.
Boosting Tourism & Commitment to Act East Policy
Prime Minister narrated steps being taken to develop Buddha circuit for promoting tourism. He highlighted that India has jumped 18 ranks in the last 4 years in travel and tourism global index, stating that government has been focussed on promoting heritage, spiritual and medical tourism along with developing connectivity infrastructure for boosting tourism.
Outlining the contours of India’s Act-East Policy, he said that India is focussed on deepening North-East’s connect with Thailand. He said that the government is working towards developing the region as gateway of South-East Asia. Prime Minister added that the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway will establish seamless connectivity between the countries, which will boost the development of the entire region.
Government committed to welfare of people
Stressing on India’s commitment to democracy, Prime Minister narrated the story of the historic General Elections 2019 which catapulted his government to a second term with an even bigger majority.
Prime Minister listed some of the recent major decisions and achievements of the government including abrogation of Article 370. He said that in the last three years, 8 crore households have been given LPG connections – the number of beneficiaries is more than the population of entire Thailand. Ayushman Bharat scheme has been launched to provide health care benefits to over 50 crore Indians. He added that the government is committed to ensure the availability of water for everyone and a household for all by 2022.
PM Modi arrives at Bangkok airport on 3-day Thailand visit
PM departs from Palam airport in Delhi
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Bangkok, Thailand today. He will participate in various ASEAN related Summits including the ASEAN-India Summit, East Asia Summit and a meeting on RCEP negotiations. He will also hold meetings with world leaders to discuss important bilateral and global issues.
In his departure statement, Prime Minister said ASEAN related Summits are key elements of India’s foreign policy, most notably our Act East Policy. Highlighting the importance of East Asia Summit, Prime Minister said it gives an opportunity to present our vision for the Indo-Pacific region.
At 6 PM IST today, PM will address ‘Sawasdee PM Modi’ community programme in Bangkok. Praising the contributions of Indian community to Thailand, Prime Minister said he is looking forward to interact with them.
Departure statement by PM
Following is the text of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s departure statement ahead of his visit to Thailand.
“ I will be travelling to Bangkok tomorrow to participate in the 16th ASEAN-India Summit on November 3 and the 14th East Asia Summit and the 3rd Summit meeting of nations negotiating a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement on November 4.
During the visit, I will also hold bilateral meetings with a number of other World Leaders present at Bangkok for these and related Summit meetings.
The ASEAN-related Summits are an integral part of our diplomatic calendar, and an important element in our Act East Policy.
Our partnership with ASEAN is built around the key pillars of connectivity, capacity-building, commerce and culture. We had in January 2018 celebrated the 25th anniversary of our Dialogue Partnership with ASEAN in a special commemorative Summit in New Delhi, at which Leaders of all ten ASEAN States were honoured chief guests at our Republic Day.
I will be reviewing with ASEAN partners our cooperative activities, and examining plans for strengthening ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms, enhancing connectivity (sea, land, air, digital and people-to-people), deepening economic partnerships, and expanding maritime cooperation.
The East Asia Summit (EAS) is today the leading element in the regional cooperative architecture, as a singular, Leaders-led structure that is centeredaround ASEAN, and includes as members major countries in the region or with important interests in it. We will be reviewing significant regional and global issues on the Agenda of the EAS, and examining the state of our current programmes and projects. I will also focus on our Indo-Pacific strategy, on which I am happy to note strong convergences with ASEAN partners and others at the EAS.
At the RCEP Summit, we will take stock of the progress in RCEP negotiations. We will consider all issues including whether India’s concerns and interests in trade in goods, services, and investments are being fully accommodated, during this Summit.
Other elements of my visit include participating in a Special Leaders luncheon event on November 4, organized by the Prime Minister of Thailand, as Chair of ASEAN, on sustainability.
I will also attend a reception organized by the Indian community in Thailand on November 2. People of Indian Origin, and Non-resident Indians have made significant contributions to Thailand and to the important relationship India shares with the Kingdom of Thailand.”
PM’s interview to Bangkok Post:
MEA briefing on Thailand visit:
Prime Minister will be visiting Bangkok from 2nd to 4th November at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Thailand, His Excellency Prayut Chan-o-cha and his visit is for the 16th ASEAN India Summit, 14th East Asia Summit, the 3rdRCEP Summit and related events. The ASEAN related summits are an integral part of our diplomatic calendar.
This will be Prime Minister Modi’s seventh ASEAN-India Summit and sixth East Asia Summit. Last year, you would recall that in January India had hosted the 25th Anniversary Commemorative Summit of Indo-ASEAN and in which all the ten ASEAN leaders had participated. Then the Delhi Declaration was adopted wherein it was agreed to further strengthen and deepen the ASEAN India strategic partnership. Thereafter, in November last year, Prime Minister had, in Singapore, held along with the ASEAN leaders an Informal India-ASEAN Summit. So we had two engagements with the ASEAN last year.
Let me run you through the program in Bangkok. Prime Minister will arrive in Bangkok on the evening of November 2 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 thousand and at the Indian community meeting the Prime Minister would be releasing a commemorative coin, marking the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji and he would also be releasing a Thai translation of the Tirukkural which is the great Tamil classic.
On November 3, Prime Minister will participate in a business event. It is also the golden jubilee of the Aditya Birla Group in Thailand this year. Many of our reputed Indian companies have investments in Thailand and Aditya Birla also has investments there including in sectors like textile fabrics, chemicals etc. Then the second engagement of the Prime Minister would be to join in this ASEAN India Summit which he will co-chair with the Prime Minister of Thailand. The meeting will take stock of the progress made in the ASEAN-India relationship.
Several initiatives of India are under implementation, for example our commitment to offer 1000 PhD scholarships for ASEAN students at IITs, now that is actually under implementation. It was unveiled and its implementation began in September this year when both External Affairs Minister and the Minister for Human Resource Development had jointly launched this initiative. This has a budget of about Rs. 300 crore and if I many say this is the largest human resource development initiative for ASEAN by India and indeed by any of ASEAN’s dialogue partners. So this is something which has been offered to the ASEAN countries.
Then we are also working on the establishment of Centers for Excellence in software development and training in the CMLV countries and that is at a budget of about $8.6 million and that is also being implemented. We are in close consultations with ASEAN partners to identify specific projects under our $1 billion line of credit for our ASEAN country partners.
Strengthening ASEAN and ASEAN led mechanisms, enhancing connectivity whether it is sea, land, air, digital, people to people, deepening our economic partnership, enhancing cooperation in the digital domain including cyber security and improving maritime cooperation are some of the key themes of India ASEAN cooperation.
The next day on 4th of November, Prime Minister has three important engagements. Prime Minister will attend a special lunch hosted by the Thai Prime Minister for the leaders of the East Asia participating countries and the leaders in this platform will exchange views on progressing the global sustainable development agenda. The theme of this has been chosen by Thailand. In fact Thailand under it’s chairmanship is promoting the theme – Advancing Partnerships for Sustainability. So we are also working to support this theme and contributing to the discussions that are taking place.
If you look at it specifically Thailand with us co-hosted the India-ASEAN workshop on Blue Economy in September this year in which the focus of discussion was sustainable use of marine resources. So we are working on the sustainability concept with the Thailand.
Separately, we welcome the ASEAN outlook on Indo-Pacific which was put out by the ASEAN and adopted by the ASEAN earlier this year. We see many elements of convergence with our own Indo-Pacific approach and we look forward to working with ASEAN partners on furthering our Indo-Pacific cooperation.
The second engagement Prime Minister has on November 4 is the 14th East Asia Summit. The East Asia Summit is a leaders led platform and in that it is a platform where they hold discussions on various developments in the region and it is also a confidence building mechanism in the region.
If you look at it the East Asia Summit membership is a very broad membership. Its members account for 54 percent of the world’s population and over 58 percent of the GDP. So it is a very important platform where leaders meet and discuss. Much of the success of this platform is also because of the central role that the ASEAN countries play in it and we acknowledge that role that the ASEAN countries play and we always call for the centrality of ASEAN in our Indo-Pacific approach.
The agenda for the forthcoming East Asia Summit is to review the future direction of EAS cooperation and exchange views on regional and international issues. The final engagement of Prime Minister 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.
In addition, on the sidelines of the summit Prime Minister will also have a number of bilateral meetings which are being worked out. On the evening of November 4th itself Prime Minister will return to New Delhi.
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