Hanoi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
on Saturday concluded his substantive seven-day three-nation tour of
Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam during which two free trade
agreements were signed as part of India`s efforts to give a
push to its `Look East` policy.
Singh left for home from here after attending the
India-ASEAN Summit and East Asia Summit, besides holding
significant bilateral meetings with his counterparts from
China, Vietnam, Singapore and Australia as also with US
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
At the India-ASEAN and East-Asia Summits, Singh
pitched for closer and greater integration between India and
East and South East Asian countries.
He pressed for early completion of free trade
agreement in Services and Investment and implementation of
such a pact on Goods signed last year.
Singh also announced visa-on-arrival facility to
nationals of Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and Laos from
January next year and a slew of other measures like setting up
of a Centre for Tracking and Data Reception and an Imaging
facility for the ASEAN countries.
The Prime Minister yesterday held talks with his
Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao and said China should be
sensitive to India`s "core" issues as he raised "difficult"
matters with him in the backdrop of Beijing issuing stapled
visas to people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Prior to his trip to Vietnam, Singh visited Malaysia
During his visit to Malaysia, the two countries
decided to forge closer ties on a range of areas, including
defence, anti-terrorism and hydrocarbons, and resolved to
impart strategic dimension to their relations.
They also announced conclusion of negotiations on
Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which is
aimed at enabling freer movement of goods, services and
The agreement, negotiations for which began in
February 2008, will be formally signed by January next year by
when all legal formalities would be completed and it will be
implemented on July one next year.
During Singh`s Japan visit, the two sides decided to
hasten negotiations on a civil nuclear deal and agreed on a
range of other issues to take their strategic partnership to
India and Japan also announced the firming up of
Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, which will open
trade between the two countries, and slashing of taxes up to
94 per cent over the next decade.