The Prime Minister will on Saturday embark on a three-day visit to Thailand to participate in the ASEAN, East Asia, and RCEP summits. Mr. Narendra Modi's engagements on the first day include his address to the Indian community in the country and the release of a commemorative coin marking the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, as well as the release of a Thai translation of Tamil classic Tirukkural.
On November 3, Mr. Modi will co-chair the 16th ASEAN-India summit with the Thailand Prime Minister, Mr. Prayut Chan-o-cha, on whose invitation he is visiting the country.
'The ASEAN-related summits are an integral part of our diplomatic calendar. This will be the Prime Minister, Mr. Modi's seventh ASEAN-India summit and sixth East Asia Summit,' the Ministry of External Affairs' Secretary (East), Ms. Vijay Thakur Singh said during a press briefing.
'Last year, in January, India had hosted the 25th-anniversary commemorative summit of Indo-ASEAN in which all the 10 ASEAN leaders had participated. The Delhi Declaration was adopted wherein it was agreed to further strengthen and deepen the ASEAN-India strategic partnership,' she added.
The meeting will take stock of the progress made in the relationship between India and the ASEAN member countries. Several Indian initiatives are currently implemented in this regard, such as New Delhi's commitment to offering 1,000 PhD scholarships to ASEAN students at the IITs.
The initiative has a budget of about Rs 300 crores and is the largest human resource initiative for ASEAN member countries by India and for any of its dialogue partner.
It was unveiled and its implementation began in September this year when both the External Affairs Minister, Mr. S Jaishankar, and the Minister for Human Resource Development, Mr. Ramesh Pokhriyal, jointly launched this initiative.
India is also working on the establishment of centres for excellence in software development and training in the CMLV (Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam) under a budget of about 8.6 million dollars. In addition, New Delhi is in close consultation with its ASEAN partners to identify specific projects under its 1 billion dollar line of credit for its ASEAN country partners.