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Walking the talk on Act East Policy


Shared Vision

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Jakarta,Indonesia on 29 -30 May 2018, as part of his "Act East" initiative. On his maiden visit to the island nation, the Prime Minister held talks with President Joko Widodo. The two leaders also jointly interacted with the India-Indonesia CEOs forum. They unveiled the first Kite Exhibition on the theme of Ramayana and Mahabharata and visited Arjuna Wijaya Chariot and Istiqlal Mosque. The Prime Minister later addressed the Indian community living in Indonesia.

India and Indonesia share deep historical and civilisational linkages and are multi ethnic, multi religious, plural and open societies committed to upholding democracy, pluralism and diversity.

The leaders welcomed the adoption of the "Shared Vision on Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific between India and Indonesia" with a strong belief that the two countries could develop further cooperation in maritime sector which can be a force of immense stability in the region. Both sides also welcomed the growing convergence in the political, strategic, defence, security and economic fields between the two countries and noted that the bilateral relationship had acquired a new momentum following the State Visit of President Joko Widodo to India in December 2016 and successful implementation of the commitments made by both sides.

The visit created greater synergy between Asia's two largest democracies.

A Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

To enhance strategic partnership between the two countries, India and Indonesia agreed to hold Annual Summit meetings, including on the margins of multilateral events. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joko Widodo stressed on the importance of continuing regular bilateral consultations through the robust architecture of dialogue in place, including the Ministerial and Working Group Mechanisms. The leaders stressed on the importance of parliamentary exchanges and encouraged regular visits of delegations between the two Parliaments. Recognising that the two maritime neighbours are strategic partners, both the  leaders reaffirmed their commitment in the field of defence, with the signing of Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) between two countries. The Agreement will further strengthen and renew the existing cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries and the region. They identified cooperation in defence industry and technology as areas of great potential and directed officials to expand collaboration between their defence industries for joint production of equipment, technology transfer, technical assistance and capacity building as well as sourcing of defence equipment.

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The Shared Vision of India-Indonesia Maritime Cooperation in the Indo Pacific agreed during PM's visit, 1st with any ASEAN country, outlines areas of maritime cooperation & envisages security architecture in Indo Pacific.

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The two sides signed 15 agreements and MoUs for cooperation in a number of areas from exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes to railways, health and pharmaceuticals.

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Civilisational & Historical Linkages

Addressing the Indian community in Jakarta ,Prime Minister Modi spoke of the special ties between India and Indonesia, and recalled the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi earlier this year, where leaders from 10 ASEAN nations, including Indonesia, were present. He noted that it is no coincidence that in 1950, the President of Indonesia had been the Chief Guest at the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi.

The members of the Indian diaspora in Indonesia are proud citizens of Indonesia, but wish to remain connected with their Indian roots as well, he added.

He said that in the last four years, India has witnessed unparalleled transformation referring to the FDI, openness of the Indian economy, ease of doing business, and competitiveness of the Indian economy. He said both countries are proud of their democratic ethos and diversity.

He gave examples such as the Bali-Jatra, and similarities in cuisine and language to highlight the close cultural links between the two countries.

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“Vibrant people to people relations boost bilateral ties between India and Indonesia”
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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Strong Bonds of Friendship

On 31 May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the way to Singapore, on the second leg of his three nation-tour, to congratulate the new Malaysian leadership, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who was sworn in as the Prime Minister earlier in the month.

Malaysia is a strategic partner and a priority country in India’s Act East Policy. The two leaders had a productive exchange of views on strengthening strategic partnership.

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A Valuable Strategic Partnership

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Singapore from 31 May to 2 June 2018 at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong . He also called on President Halimah Yacob and received a call from Emeritus Senior Minister Mr. Goh Chok Tong.

The visit that aimed at enhancing India-Singapore partnership in areas of Fintech, skill development, urban planning and artificial intelligence presented an opportunity for both countries to engage further.

Prime Minister Modi also addressed a business innovation and community event and visited the Nanyang Technological University, Indian Heritage Centre, Changi Naval Base and other sites highlighting people to people links between India and Singapore.

Prime Minister Lee thanked Mr. Modi for accepting the invitation to deliver the keynote address at this year’s International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD). Prime Minister Modi became the first Indian PM to speak at the SLD on 1 June 2018, reflecting India’s commitment to promoting peace and stability in the region.

Partnership for Enterprise and Innovation

Prime Minister Modi addressed a business, innovation and community event "India and Singapore: Stepping into the Future – Partnership for Enterprise and Innovation” on 31 May 2018.

Both the Prime Ministers also witnessed the signing of 13 agreements at the event, covering areas such as investment promotion, start-ups, FinTech, innovation, skills, artificial intelligence, data analytics and water.

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The two leaders welcomed the India-Singapore Entrepreneurship Bridge (InSpreneur), an Indian initiative, which has already held two editions in 2018, to connect government agencies, startups, innovators, incubators, accelerators and investors in the two countries. Theyalso welcomed the announcement of the Singapore-India Incubation Programme by Startup SG. The programme, led by Enterprise Singapore, aims to provide exposure and support for start-ups keen to explore both markets.

Prime Ministers welcomed the announcement of the partnership between NETS and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), starting with the launch of the RuPay card in Singapore. They also welcomed the agreement between NETS and NPCI to extend Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) to recognise SGQR for payment in Singapore, and called for accelerated discussion on arrangements to support cross-border payments. They further welcomed the international launch of India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) based cross-border remittance app in Singapore, which will facilitate remittances by Indian workers.

Strengthening Cooperation

At their meeting on 1 June 2018, Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Lee reviewed and expressed satisfaction over the progress in the bilateral relationship since the signing of the Joint Declaration on a Strategic Partnership on 24 November 2015, during Prime Minister Modi’s previous visit to Singapore. They welcomed the regular high-level visits and consultations between India and Singapore which have served to strengthen all-round cooperation, including in the areas of strategic and security cooperation; economic relations; technology and innovation partnership; and, human and cultural links. They also reiterated their principled position on maritime security and expressed our commitment to Rules Based Order.

Following the fruitful discussion, both Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of eight agreements at the Istana covering areas such as defence, FinTech, cyber security and public administration.

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Transforming Asia Through Innovation

Prime Minister Modi during his visit to Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, responded to questions during an interaction with students.

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"We have progressed through the ages due to innovation and due to ethics as well as humanitarian values."
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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At the India-Singapore Enterprise & Innovation Exhibition

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Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address at 2018 International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD). He was the first Indian Prime Minister to speak at the SLD, and by doing so, reflects India’s commitment to promoting peace and stability in the region.

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"This is a world of inter-dependent fortunes and failures. No nation can shape and secure it on its own. It is a world that summons us to rise above divisions and competition to work together. Is that possible? Yes. It is possible. I see ASEAN as an example and inspiration"
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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At Changi Naval Base in Singapore

A fitting finale to a memorable visit to Singapore

Prime Minister Modi visited the Changi Naval Base in Singapore accompanied by Senior Minister of State for Defence Mohd Maliki Osman and other dignitaries.

The two countries have been cooperating in the maritime sector and the Prime Minister's visit to the Naval Base was aimed at further strengthening the India-Singapore maritime ties.The PM also briefly interacted with the sailors on board the INS Satpura.

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