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This will be this third visit to Singapore and his first to Indonesia — the world’s third-largest democracy (India is the largest). Joko Widodo, the leader he meets in Jakarta, may remind him of his own political career. Both got elected in 2014. Both defeated powerful political dynasties (Joko defeated Suharto), both come from humble backgrounds (Widodo’s father was a carpenter).
Not just the leaders, even the two countries have common interests:
Both countries are close maritime neighbours – the shortest distance between Andaman and Aceh is just 80 nautical miles. This has implications on maritime security, counter-terrorism and anti-piracy operations.
Indonesia is the largest trading partner of India in the ASEAN region with bilateral trade of $17 billion in 2016-17. India is also a major source of military hardware for Indonesia.
China’s stance in South China Sea is of common concern. Indonesia has common claims with China on some islands and India is worried about security of sea lanes of communication in the region.
Both are fast-growing large economies looking for global investors. Indonesia has its version of Make in India and has invited Indian companies to invest.
There are about 1 lakh Indonesians of Indian origin and over 7,500 Indian nationals in Indonesia.
AGENDA OF HIS VISIT
PM Modi will begin his visit to Indonesia where he will be holding detailed discussions with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta. He will also interact with Chief Executive Officers and the Indian community in Indonesia.
He will address the Indian gathering in Jakarta. The event is reportedly schedule to take place at 4 pm local time. Almost 3000 registrations have come up for this event as of now, that is, when the copy was written.
It will be followed by a brief stopover at Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur, where Prime Minister will congratulate the newly elected Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr. Mahathir Mohammad.
While in Singapore, Prime Minister Modi plans to focus on developing a bilateral partnership in several areas including financial technology, skill development, urban planning and artificial intelligence.
Further leaders of both countries will hold discussions on possible business and investment opportunities.
Modi is scheduled to visit the India-Singapore enterprise and innovation exhibition. Later he will address a business and community event followed by a roundtable meeting with select top CEOs of Singapore to discuss business and investment opportunities.
On Friday, he will call on his Singaporean President Halimah Yacob. Further, he is scheduled to hold delegation-level talks with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong followed by a visit to Nanyang Technological University where he shall hold an interactive session with students.
Later in evening, the Prime Minister will deliver a keynote address at Shangri-La Dialogue and will also be the first Indian leader to do so.
“It would be an opportunity to articulate India’s point of view on regional security issues and maintenance of peace and stability in the region” the post read.
The next day, PM Modi will unveil a plaque at Clifford Pier, where Gandhiji’s ashes were immersed in the sea on 27 March 1948.
He is also expected to visit some specific places which share the features of Indus civilisation.
The PM would conclude his visit by going to Changi Naval Base in Singapore where he shall visit Indian Naval Ship INS Satpura and interact with officers and sailors of the Indian Navy and Royal Singapore Navy.
The PM has previously visited Singapore on two occasions – in March 2015 to attend the state funeral of the city state’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and then again in November the same year for his first official visit.