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New Delhi, October 28, 2010
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reached Hanoi this evening from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on the last leg of a three-nation tour that had earlier also taken him to Japan.
Dr Singh and Mrs Gursharan Kaur were received at the Noi Bai International Airport by Vietnamese Justice Minister Ha Hung Cuong and senior Vietnamese and Indian officials.
In Vietnam, Dr Singh will attend the 8th India-ASEAN Summit and the 5th East Asia Summit (EAS) as well as hold bilateral meetings with several world leaders, including Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. He is due to return home on Saturday.
"The scale and range of our interaction with the ASEAN countries has expanded significantly in the last six years. I will discuss with the ASEAN leaders a road map for our future cooperation which will be reflected in an India-ASEAN Plan of Action for 2010-2015," Dr Singh had said on October 24 before leaving on the week-long trip.
Dr Singh had said that the East Asia Summit represented the desire of the Asia Pacific region to build an open and inclusive architecture of regional cooperation.
"In its short period of existence, the EAS process has made significant progress. This year’s Summit is expected to welcome the United States and Russia into the EAS process. I will update the EAS leaders on steps taken by us on the revival of the Nalanda University, which was endorsed by the Summit in 2009," he had said.
Among the others Dr Singh will meet on the margins of the EAS are the Prime Minister of Vietnam, the President of South Korea, the Australian Prime Minister and the Prime Minister of Singapore.
The India-ASEAN Summit will take place in the forenoon of October 30 when Dr Singh will hold discussions with his 10 ASEAN counterparts.
"Our relationship has indeed come a long way. The India-ASEAN Trade-in-Goods Agreement became operational on 1st January, 2010. We expect to complete negotiations on the Trade in Services and Investment Agreement soon. To give a fillip to our economic engagement an India-ASEAN Trade Fair and Business Summit is planned at New Delhi in March, 2011. The India- ASEAN Plan of Action for 2010-15, is proposed to be adopted during the Summit. A series of events are also being contemplated next year leading to the first ever India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit in India in 2012," Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao had told journalists ahead of the visit.
The EAS, to be held on the same day, will deliberate on the issues of (a) Energy, Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (b) Financial Cooperation (c) Pandemics (d) Natural Disaster Mitigation (e) Education and (f) Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) and Economic and Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
The leaders will also exchange views on regional and international issues and on the future cooperation in EAS.