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Modi reaches Manila for ASEAN; terror, trade, South China Sea row on agenda

Combatting terrorism, China's aggressive military manoeuvre in South China Sea, North Korea's nuclear missile tests on agenda

Press Trust of India  |  Manila 

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi leaving for Manila (Photo: @MEAIndia)

Prime Minister Modi arrived in Manila on Sunday on a three-day visit to attend the ASEAN-India and East summits where he is likely to reassert India's push for crafting a global approach to deal with growing challenge of and radicalisation besides pitching for steps to boost regional trade.

The thorny issue of China's aggressive military manoeuvre in the disputed South Sea, North Korea's nuclear missile tests and overall security architecture in the region will come up for discussion during the summit on Tuesday, diplomats said.

On the sidelines of the main events, Prime Minister Modi is likely to have a series of bilateral meetings with a number of leaders including US President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Russian Dmitry Medvedev.

A host of leaders including Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have already arrived in the city to attend deliberations at the (Association of Southeast Nations), a grouping of 10 influential countries.

The ties between India and have been on an upswing in the last few years with the focus being on ramping up cooperation in the areas of trade and investment as well as security and defence.

"Every single country in the region wants India to be more engaged in the region in every possible way. That is the real synergy we have with ASEAN," Indian Ambassador to Philippines Jaideep Mazumdar told PTI.

The US, France and Japan have been pitching for a larger role by India in the strategically key Indo-Pacific region where has been trying to increase its military presence.

Majumdar said is going to be one of the issues that will be discussed not only during the summit but also at the East summit. He said several documents are going to be adopted with an aim to contain including one on stopping money laundering for the purpose of

While summit is likely to focus more on trade and investment-related issues, leaders at the East Summit are expected to delve deep into issues relating to maritime security, terrorism, non-proliferation and migration.

Apart from the 10 Member states, East Summit includes India, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.

Modi will address the ASEAN-India and East summits on Tuesday. He would also take part in special celebrations of the 50th anniversary of

The region along with India together comprises a combined population of 1.85 billion people, which is one fourth of the global population and their combined GDP has been estimated at over $3.8 trillion.

Investment from to India has been over $70 billion in the last 17 years accounting for more than 17 per cent of India's total FDI. India's investment in during the same period has been more than $40 billion.

India's proposal to host an international conference on countering radicalisation may also be discussed during the deliberations at Manila as New Delhi is now looking at finalising the dates for the conclave.

Prime minister Modi will also participate in the business and investment summit as well as a meeting of leaders of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The RCEP, comprising 10-member bloc and six other countries - India, China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand - is engaged in negotiations for a pact.

In his maiden visit to the Philippines as the prime minister, Modi will also attend a reception by the Indian community and visit the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Mahavir Philippines Foundation.

First Published: Sun, November 12 2017. 15:53 IST