PM Narendra Modi heads on 3-day Thailand visit, to address ‘Sawasdee PM Modi’ community programme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Thailand on Saturday where he will attend the ASEAN-India, East Asia and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) summits to strengthen regional cooperation in key areas such as trade, maritime security and connectivity.

On Saturday, PM Modi departed for a 3-day visit to Thailand. Today Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address ‘Sawasdee PM Modi’ community programme in Bangkok, reported news agency ANI.

"I would be in Bangkok, Thailand to participate in various @ASEAN related Summits including the ASEAN-India Summit, East Asia Summit and a meeting on RCEP negotiations. ASEAN related Summits are key elements of India’s foreign policy, most notably our Act East Policy," PM Modi said in a tweet.

"In Bangkok, there will be meetings with various world leaders to discuss important bilateral and global issues. India is eager to improve connectivity with @ASEAN nations. The East Asia Summit gives an opportunity to present our vision for the Indo-Pacific region," tweeted PM Modi.

PM Modi on the first day will address the Indian community living in the country and the release of a commemorative coin marking the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, as well as the release a Thai translation of Tamil classic 'Tirukkural', the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. On November 3, PM Modi will co-chair the 16th ASEAN-India summit alongside Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

In statement PM Modi said, "Connecting with the Indian diaspora is something I always look forward to. At 6 PM IST this evening in Bangkok, I would interact with the Indian community based in Thailand. Their contributions to Thailand in various spheres are valuable."

Besides attending the India-ASEAN and RCEP summits, the prime minister will also attend the annual East Asia summit which is expected to review the evolving security scenario in the region besides deliberating on ways to deal with the threat of terrorism and radicalisation.

The annual ASEAN summit, a grouping of 10 influential countries, is taking place amid China's aggressive behaviour in the disputed South China Sea as well as in the Indo-Pacific region. The powerful grouping will have separate summits with its dialogue partners like India, the US, Japan, Russia and China. The 10 member countries of ASEAN are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The RCEP, comprising 10-member the ASEAN bloc and six other countries -- India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, is engaged in negotiations for a free trade pact. The RCEP negotiations were launched by ASEAN leaders and the six other countries during the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh in Cambodia in November 2012. The objective of launching the RCEP negotiations is to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN member states and its FTA partners.

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