New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight left for four-day visit to Malaysia and Singapore, during which the focus would be on building trade ties and attracting investments to India.
"Leaving for Malaysia & Singapore. Will attend 2 crucial summits, participate in bilateral meetings & seek greater investment to India," the Prime Minister said in a tweet before his departure for Kuala Lumpur, on the first leg of his trip.
In Malaysia, Modi will be attending the ASEAN-India Summit tomorrow and the 10th East Asia Summit the next day, besides holding talks with Prime Minister Najib Razak and some other world leaders who would be attending the Summits.
He had said the ASEAN-India and East Asia Summits are being held at a critical juncture and "together, we will discuss the pressing security issues. The looming threat of terror and the prevailing situation in West Asia will also be a part of the discussions."
In Singapore, Modi will hold deliberations with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on ways to enhance bilateral ties on the occasion of commemoration of 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
"My visits to Malaysia and Singapore are aimed at making our economic ties with these nations stronger and to also strengthen the security cooperation between us," Modi has said in a series of Facebook posts.
Talking about Malaysia, the Prime Minister had said it is "at the core of our 'Act East Policy'."
"India's partnership with ASEAN nations has gathered immense momentum over the years... We want to further scale up our trade and economic ties. I will expand on the need for closer economic cooperation and investment opportunities in India at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit..," he said.
"The ASEAN nations have welcomed India's 'Act East Policy' and we in India are extremely enthusiastic to have better relations with the ASEAN family in areas such as defence, security and cultural ties.
"Robust India-ASEAN ties will give great impetus to our collective dream of making this century an 'Asian Century'," Modi had said.
With regard to the East Asia Summit, he said India attaches a lot of importance to it.
Referring to bilateral ties with Malaysia, Modi had said that since 2010, India has a strategic partnership with the country whose investments, including in various infrastructure projects, are strong in India. India's trade with Malaysia is also vibrant, particularly in commodities sector, he added.
In Malaysia, he will join the programme for the inauguration of Torana Gate, interact with Corporate Malaysia, visit the Ramakrishna Mission complex, inaugurate a statue of Swami Vivekananda and visit the Batu Caves Temple.
"Friends in Malaysia & Singapore, share your inputs for the community programmes. Will meet some of you there," the Prime Minister said in tweet yesterday.
"Malaysia is key to our 'Act East Policy.' My visit will build on our trade ties. Will also interact with diaspora," he said.
He will also address the Indian diaspora.
"Over 2 million persons of Indian origin reside in Malaysia. There will be an interaction with them at a community programme. Our diaspora must be saluted for their accomplishments and bringing the two nations closer," he said.
After Malaysia, Modi will travel to Singapore.
"The importance India attaches to ties with Singapore is immense. Singapore is a leading investor in India and several Indian companies are expanding their operations to Singapore," he said.
Modi said Singapore's success is indeed noteworthy. "Their achievements in urban development, urban transport, waste management, development of ports and skill development are well known. My visit to Singapore will focus on these key areas of India-Singapore cooperation," he said.
Modi's first engagement there will be the Singapore Lecture after which he will have meetings with President Tony Tan Keng Yam, PM Lee Hsien Loong, and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.
"A meeting with prominent investors will focus on the investment opportunities in India," he said. He will also pay homage at the INA Memorial Marker at Esplanade Park.
He will again have a diaspora event.
"Over 3,50,000 Indians stay in Singapore. We will interact at a community programme on the evening of 24th November," he said.
"I am certain my Singapore visit will lead to enhanced India-Singapore cooperation and this will benefit our nations, Asia and the rest of the world," he said.