Indonesia, India's most valued partner in its Act East Policy: PM Modi

| Updated: Dec 12, 2016 21:21 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec. 12 (ANI): Describing Indonesia as one of the most valued partners in India's Act East Policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the two important maritime nations have agreed to prioritise defence and maritime cooperation to ensure the safety and security of the sea lanes, in disaster response and environmental protection. "My extensive conversation with President Widodo focused on the full range of our cooperation. The Joint Statement on Maritime Cooperation outlines the agenda of our engagement in this field. Our partnership will also extend to combating terrorism, organized crime, drugs and human trafficking," Prime Minister Modi said during a joint media address with visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo. To sustain the momentum of India-Indonesia relations, Prime Minister Modi said both the countries have agreed for the early implementation of India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in Services and Investment, and finalization of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). "I agreed with President Widodo to encourage Indian companies to work closely with Indonesia in the fields of pharmaceuticals, IT and software, and skill development. As two developing countries we also decided to move on infrastructure development two-way investment flows leveraging our respective capabilities. We also underscored the importance of deepening our two decades old valuable cooperation in the field of space," he said. Prime Minister Modi also said the CEOs' Forum should take the lead in identifying new avenues of wider and deeper industry to industry engagement. In this regard, the Prime Minister and President Widodo have directed for an early meeting of the existing Ministerial-level mechanisms to carry forward the bilateral cooperation agenda. Noting the historical and cultural links between India and Indonesia which shares a common heritage, Prime Minister Modi agrees with Widodo for setting up of Indian and Indonesian Studies in each other's universities. "The President and I agreed on the importance of stimulating research on our historical linkages. We also agreed to expand our scholarship and training programmes," Prime Minister Modi said. Prime Minister Modi also welcomed Garuda Indonesia's decision to commence direct flights to Mumbai. (ANI)
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