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President sets out to further India's Look East policy

November 24, 2008 11:28 IST

President Pratibha Patil on Monday embarked on a ten-day visit to Vietnam and Indonesia to give a new thrust to India's 'Look East' policy and bolster its bilateral ties with these economically and strategically important neighbours in the ASEAN region.

The President would hold talks with the top leadership of these countries which have seen impressive growth rates in recent years.

"This visit essentially reaffirms India's commitment to enhance our engagement with these countries, our close friends within ASEAN fraternity. It is part of our Look East policy initiative," Secretary (East) in the ministry of external affairs, N Ravi, said.

The visit would provide an opportunity to India to assess the present state of relations in all facets -- political, economic and cultural ties -- with the two countries and help to enhance ties in trade and investment, he said.

Besides attending a business delegation meeting organised by FICCI and Vietnam Chambers of Commerce and official level talks, Patil would have meeting with her Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Minh Triet and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

In Indonesia, Patil would meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who paid a State visit to India in 2005.

The visit would reaffirm India's pursuit of closer and enduring partnership with these countries. This would be yet another milestone in ensuring that India's engagement remains strong and beneficial.

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