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Indian PM looks east in Indonesia visit
Publication Date : 10-10-2013
After the East Asia Summit in Brunei Darussalam, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will travel to Indonesia on October 10-12 to further consolidate and expand strategic partnerships between the two countries, says India’s Ambassador to Indonesia Gurjit Singh.
PM Singh will be accompanied by a number of ministers in his delegation, namely External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid as well as Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to hold talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and attend a number of events, including the India-Indonesia CEOs Forum, which will be held on October 10-11.
The forum will host a number of business leaders from both countries, including Venu Srinivasan from TVS Motor Company Limited, Indo Rama Synthetics managing director OP Lohia and Tata International Ltd Chairman B. Muthuraman.
Business between the two countries will be a main focus. Bilateral trade reached an estimated US$20 billion from 2012 to the first half of this year, which is five-fold from the figure in 2005.
“We are positive that the target of US$25 billion by 2015 will be achieved,” said ambassador Singh.
The embassy lists infrastructure, power, textiles, steel, automotive, resource-mining, banking and manufacturing as attractive investments for Indian companies.
Another important issue for the two countries is free trade. Singh believes India is very “keen” to have a free trade agreement (FTA) on services and investment between Asean and India.
“An FTA on goods between India and Asean was signed 2-3 years ago and we have seen positive expansion.”
India is also looking to further develop its relations with Southeast Asia with it’s Look East Policy, in which Indonesia is a considered a very important country.
“So there are a lot of things in common we can look at, both in strategic location and our economic growth,” he added.