Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

President Widodo, Entourage Arrive in Manila to Attend the ASEAN Summit

President Widodo, Entourage Arrive in Manila to Attend the ASEAN Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to meet US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the India-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit which he will be attending in Manila, Phillippines 12-14 November.

Ahead of his departure Prime Minister Modi in a statement emphasised the importance of India's foreign policy of "act east policy".

A meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Modi will be significant, as this is the first meeting since the idea of a quadrilateral grouping, involving Japan, US, Australia and India, has taken shape in recent months.

Trump is also scheduled to arrive here on Monday as part of his five-nation Asia tour that will cover Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

The US, France and Japan have been pitching for a larger role by India in the strategically key Indo-Pacific region where China has been trying to increase its military presence. These meetings could see further discussions on the "quadrilateral arrangement", one of the officials cited above said.

He is the fourth of ASEAN's leaders to arrive for the weekend, having been preceded by Lao PDR Prime Minister Thoungloun Sisoulith who flew in Sunday morning; and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

In his meetings with Trump and Abe, Modi could also discuss alternatives to China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative - unveiled by Beijing in May to connect China by land and sea to Southeast Asia, Pakistan and Central Asia, and beyond to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Trump on Friday praised India's "astounding" growth after it opened up its economy and also lauded Modi, saying he has been working successfully to bring the vast country and its people together.

He will also participate in the ASEAN business and investment summit as well as a meeting of leaders of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

In a statement on Saturday, Modi said it will be his first bilateral visit to the ASEAN member state.

The RCEP, comprising the 10-member ASEAN bloc and six other countries - India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, is engaged in negotiations for a free trade pact.

He will also interact with the Indian community in the Philippines at a reception hosted by the Indian envoy.

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