India committed to peaceful and prosperous Indo Pacific region: PM Narendra Modi

Mike Pence

China Bristles at Mike Pence Visit to Southeast Asia Summit Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman Review via AP 13 Nov 2018

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Singapore this week for meetings for the ASEAN as well as the East Asian Summit, but perhaps what more people are looking forward to is his appearance at the Singapore Financial Technology (Fintech) Festival, which is now ongoing and will end on November 16th.

The prime minister expressed hope that the Donald Trump administration would recognise defence as a new economic opportunity, he said.

With scant sign of progress on negotiations since the June summit and recent high-level meetings cancelled, Trump said last week he's now in "no rush" but still wants to meet with Kim for a second time.

Pence felt that India is a positive factor in regional and global relations and said the USA looks forward to working with India on various issues to ensure that "we have a fair rules-based worldwide order".

The Prime Minister is expected to speak to an expected audience of almost 40,000 people on the third day of the conference, November 14, Wednesday.

"Like you, we seek an Indo-Pacific in which all nations, large and small, can prosper and thrive - secure in our sovereignty, confident in our values, and growing stronger together".

The two leaders also had a brief discussion on trade-related matters.

The defence sector was another area of cooperation between the two sides. India has been participating in the East Asia Summit since its inception in 2005. "We agreed that in a new relationship that we are building with the United States where trade is expanding, we need to find ways in which we can help that process to take place", Gokhale said.

"Both sides agreed that there had been a substantial enhancement in our defense relationship, in our imports of equipment from the United States but Prime Minister in particular stressed that there was a great opportunity for U.S. in India in making defense equipment and setting up defense industry in India". The trade gap is on course to further reduce this year.

North Korea has taken some steps since then - forgoing nuclear and missile tests, dismantling a missile test site and promising to also break up the country's main nuclear complex if the U.S. makes concessions. On trade - on which the Trump administration has adopted a strident position globally - Mr Modi reminded the U.S. vice-president that American exports to India had risen by 50 per cent in the past two years, with India importing $4 billion of United States oil and gas this year.

The US has long expressed alarm about Beijing boosting its clout in the South China Sea, but mostly limited its reaction to verbal reproach.

"So there was some good understanding on the area of how we move forward in building cooperation on counter-terrorism and both countries recognised that this is a challenge which we will have to fight together and to fight along with the rest of the worldwide community", he said.

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