Now, for economic pacts with Indonesia, Thailand

October 28th, 2010 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh By Minu Jain
Hanoi, Oct 28 (IANS) India is negotiating comprehensive economic agreements with Indonesia and Thailand on the lines of those just signed with Japan and Malaysia, official sources said Thursday.

In keeping with the new engagement, it is learnt that Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will be the chief guest at the Jan 26, 2011 Republic Day celebration in New Delhi.

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma will also be meeting ministers from these countries as India firms up ties with the East Asian region, sources said.

The sources stated this to IANS as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived here on the final leg of a three-nation Asian tour to take part in the India-ASEAN and East Asia summits.

In Japan, the prime minister and his counterpart Naoto Kan announced completion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement CEPA, which should see bilateral trade jump to $20 billion by 2015.

In Malaysia, Manmohan Singh and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced the conclusion of talks on the similar Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which is envisaged to take bilateral trade to $15 billion by 2015.

However, the target would be achieved much before deadline, Sharma said.

On the agenda in Hanoi is the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) between the Asean and six countries that form the East Asia summit - the 10 countries of the Asean as well as Australia, New Zealand, China, India, South Korea and Japan.

The prime minister’s first stop in his three-nation tour was Japan, followed by Malaysia and now Vietnam. He returns home Saturday.

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