IT to feature in Modi’s talks with East Asia Summit partners


Smart cities, IT to feature in Modi’s talks with East Asia Summit partners

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will discuss matters related to smart cities, IT, communication, maritime cooperation and terrorism with 17 other leaders participating in the East Asia Summit in Singapore this week and review the progress of the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Modi will also hold a regular meeting with US Vice-President Mike Pence and address the Singapore Financial Technology (Fintech) festival during his two-day visit starting November 14, Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, said at a press conference on Monday.

When questioned if the Prime Minister will have a bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Singh said things are fluid at the moment and the confirmation for bilaterals would come later.

The Secretary pointed out that the RCEP was a major grouping as the 16 members — which include the 10-member ASEAN, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand — accounted for 40 percent of global trade.

She stated while it is not possible to predict when the RCEP negotiations will be concluded as it was a big group with various complicated issues that needed sorting out, there had definitely been progressing in the talks.

In the East Asia Summit, which would comprise Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Vice-President Mark Pence in addition to the RCEP leaders, participants will discuss global and regional issues both informally at the retreat segment and officially at the plenary session. “At the formal session the topics of discussion will include ICT, smart cities, maritime cooperation, and terrorism,” Singh said.

Modi will also participate in the ASEAN India Bilateral Summit where progress in the goals set in the Delhi Declaration of the ASEAN India Commemorative Summit is likely to be discussed.

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