Act East policy: Vice President Hamid Ansari on five-day visit to Brunei, Thailand from February 1


Act East policy: Vice President Hamid Ansari on five-day visit to Brunei, Thailand from February 1

NEW DELHI: As part of India's Act East policy, Vice President Hamid Ansari will embark on a five-day tour of Brunei and Thailand from February 1 to carry forward India's bilateral engagements with the two South East Asian countries.

The Vice President is going to Brunei first at--the invitation of crown prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs Anil Wadhwa told reporters here.


This will be the first-ever visit to Brunei by an Indian Vice President since the establishment of diplomatic relations in May, 1984.

Ansari will hold talks with Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Billah on issues of bilateral and multilateral significance including civil aviation, space, trade and investment, hydrocarbons, information and communication, Wadhwa said.

Cooperation in ASEAN and East Asia Summit and other multilateral fora will also be on the agenda, he said, adding a couple of MoUs on health and defence cooperation will also be signed during Ansari's visit.

He will deliver an address at the University of Brunei Darussalam and meet the Indian community.

Brunei is home to around 10,000 Indian expatriates and most of the professionals there are doctors and teachers.

The country is an important partner for India in ASEAN and exports crude oil and petroleum products, Wadhwa said.

From Brunei, Ansari will go to Thailand on February 3 at the invitation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, making it the first visit by an Indian Vice President after a gap of 50 years.

In Thailand, Ansari will hold talks with Chan-o-cha and have an audience with Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

He will also deliver a speech at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok on Look East and address the Indian community at a reception to be hosted by the Indian Ambassador to Thailand.

On the last day of his stay in Thailand, Ansari will make a brief visit to the city of Chiang Mai, near Myanmar, where its Governor will host a banquet in his honour. He will also visit the Royal Development Study Centre.

Ansari will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including a minister of state, 4 MPs and senior officials, Wadhwa said.


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