PM leaves for home after attending ASEAN, EAS Summits
Phnom Penh: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left here for home on Tuesday after attending the ASEAN and East Asia Summits besides holding talks with his Japanese and Chinese counterparts and interacting with US President Barack Obama.
Singh came face-to-face with Obama on three occasions here for the first time after he was re-elected President in the November 6 polls in the US and told him: "Congratulations on your re-election."
Obama, whose new four-year term begins in January, told the Prime Minister that India was a "big part" of his plans.
During his meeting with Singh on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced that Japan will give a fresh loan of about USD 2.26 billion for the second phase of Dedicated Freight Corridor and an infrastructure project in South India.
The two leaders were initially to meet on November 16 in Tokyo when Singh was to travel there for a three-day visit beginning November 15. However, the visit was cancelled a day ahead in view of sudden political developments in Japan with Noda deciding to announce elections.
Singh, who also met his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao yesterday, invited Chinese investments in the infrastructure sector while conveying India`s concerns over trade imbalance. Wen said India`s concerns could be addressed "gradually".
During his address to the East Asia Summit of 18
countries today, Singh advocated establishing of a "common set of principles" and "cooperative mechanisms" to deepen economic integration and ensure "open, inclusive and rule-based architecture" in the Asia Pacific region.
His remarks came against the backdrop of a row between china and other East Asian countries the over South China Sea.
At the India-ASEAN Summit yesterday, Singh announced that India was ready to conclude the much-delayed Free Trade Agreement in Services and Investment with the 10-nation grouping by next month that will provide a "springboard" for rapid expansion in ties, as he invited investments from the region citing "enormous opportunities".
Contending that enhanced cooperation between India and ASEAN was crucial for promotion of peace, security and stability in the region and addressing shared challenges, he said the agreement in Services and Investment with ASEAN will send a strong signal of deepening economic engagement.
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