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EAS, ASEAN meet, RCEP on Modi's Singapore visit agenda

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New Delhi, Nov 12 (PTI) The East Asia Summit, an ASEAN-India informal meet, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and a bilateral meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence will be on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's agenda during his two-day visit to Singapore this week.

Prime Minister Modi will reach Singapore on November 14 morning for his 36-hour visit to the city-state and his first engagement after arrival will be to deliver the keynote address at the Singapore Fintech Summit, Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary East in the Ministry of External Affairs, said during a media briefing here.

"This time we are looking to launch the platform APIX. The ASEAN countries have put together their financial institutions on one platform. The prime minister would be launching that link with the Indian financial institutions," she said.

In the evening, he would attend the second Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership summit.

"Leaders of the 16 negotiating countries would be there. At this summit, they would review the progress that has been made in the negotiations of the RCEP which are ongoing in Singapore," Singh said.

The RCEP bloc comprises 10 ASEAN 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 negotiations among the countries in the bloc have been ongoing since 2012.

India has a "constructive position" in the negotiations, Singh said.

The prime minister will also hold a bilateral meeting with Pence on November 14, officials said.

The White House had said last week that Pence and Modi would discuss the India-US defence cooperation and the bilateral relationship during their meeting in Singapore.

The Modi-Pence meeting comes just days after the US re-imposed sanctions on import of crude oil from Iran but temporarily allowed India, China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Turkey to continue the purchase from the Gulf nation without any penalty.

There would also be a dinner hosted by Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) chair Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

On November 15, the prime minister would participate in the ASEAN-India breakfast summit.

Prime Minister Modi will also participate at the 13th East Asia Summit that will be held in two segments -- a lunch retreat followed by the plenary session, Singh said.

At the summit, the issues that are on the table are many, including Information and Communications Technology, smart cities, maritime cooperation and cross border terrorism, she said.

He would also meet the participants of India-Singapore hackathon before heading back to India, she said.

The third meeting of Quad countries -- India, the US, Japan and Australia -- at the joint secretary-level will also take place on the sidelines of Modi's visit.

"Agenda normally there is to look at how we look at peace and prosperity issues in the region," Singh said of the quad meeting.

Talking about the informal ASEAN-India breakfast meet, Singh said it was a platform where India engages with the ASEAN countries as it has a very active Act East policy.

The ASEAN region together with India is one of the most dynamic economic spaces today, Singh said.

She said the principles of India's vision of the Indo-Pacific were of an open, free, progressive and prosperous region which is inclusive and respects international law.

Asked if there will be a meeting between Modi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the summits, she said the details of the bilateral meetings were still being worked out. PTI ASK ASK KJ

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by BW staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.

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