November 19, 2007
PM's statement on the eve of departure to Singapore for 6th India-ASEAN Summit and 3rd East Asia Summit
I will be visiting Singapore from November 20th to 21st , 2007 to attend the 6th India-ASEAN Summit and the 3rd East Asia Summit.
Ever since India became a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN, our engagement with the ASEAN has grown manifold. We are actively implementing the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity. I will inform ASEAN leaders about the several initiatives that India has taken since the last Summit in Cebu in different areas of our cooperation.
Our trade with the ASEAN countries has grown rapidly, and surpassed our expectations. It today stands at US $ 30 billion. I will discuss with the ASEAN leaders new measures to expand the horizons of our cooperation to include not just greater economic integration, but also people-to-people contacts, science and technology, health, transport, human resource development, and information and communication technology.
I will also attend the third East Asia Summit later in the afternoon of November 21. This Summit is one of the most ambitious exercises of community building and integration ever attempted in Asia.
The East Asia Summit has identified five areas of cooperation - energy, education, finance, avian influenza and national disaster mitigation. India has taken and is ready to take many initiatives in these areas. The Summit is likely to adopt a Declaration on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment. The Summit is also expected to discuss regional and international issues, and future directions for cooperation.
East Asia is home to some of the fastest growing economies of the world. The creation of a cooperative framework in East Asia will have a profound impact on the global economy and international relations. India's role in the success of this enterprise is crucial.
The project for the revival of the Nalanda University as an international centre of excellence has received the support of East Asian countries. I will attend a reception being hosted by Prime Minister Lee of Singapore on the occasion of a special Exhibition on Nalanda. Many ancient and priceless artefacts have specially been flown in from India for this Exhibition.
On the sidelines of both Summit meetings I will have the opportunity to meet leaders from other countries, including Premier Wen Jiabao of China, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan, Prime Minister Badawi of Malaysia and Prime Minister Thein Sein of Myanmar amongst others.
India's 'Look East' policy is now blossoming and showing results on the ground. I consider our participation in the India-ASEAN Summit and EAS to be essential pillars of this policy, and vital for the qualitatively enhanced engagement which India seeks with the region.
Printed from the website http://www.pmindia.nic.in