New Delhi, May 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India is one of the most open economies in the world and has played an active role in the global economy. He was speaking to the Indian diaspora in Jakarta. Modi had begun his three-nation tour of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore on Tuesday, landing in Jakarta late in the evening.
PM Modi also said that the India-ASEAN relationship is crucial for peace and security in the region.”This is my first trip to this beautiful country. India has a special geo-strategic location in the Indo-Pacific region. SAGAR-Security and Growth for All in the Region fit Widodo’s Maritime Fulcrum,” he said.
He made a major announcement that India is making arrangements of free-of-cost visa for Indonesian citizens for travel of up to 30 days. He even praised Indians living in Indonesia for being committed to their roots and said that historical ties and cultures of Indonesia are similar to that of India.
Earlier in the day, India and Indonesia agreed to establish a new Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, condemned terrorism in all its forms, including cross-border terror, and to open an inter-faith dialogue in a bid to eradicate radicalism and violent extremism.
The two sides also signed 15 agreements, including one on defence cooperation that will provide for regular bilateral dialogue and consultation on strategic defence and military issues of common interest and identified cooperation in defence industry and technology as areas of great potential.
The two leaders also directed officials to expand mutually beneficial collaboration between their defence industries for the joint production of equipment, technology transfer, technical assistance, and capacity building as well sourcing of defence equipment.
In Modi’s first visit to the country with the biggest Muslim population in the world, a joint statement issued after delegation-level talks said that inter-faith dialogue was a reflection of the united commitment of both the countries to explore a new understanding of the rise of religious identities, the dynamic of pluralism and to eradicate radicalism, terrorism, and violent extremism.
Both the leaders agreed to organise an inter-faith dialogue in Indonesia in October this year which will be followed by a similar dialogue next year.
Modi told the media that under India’s Act East Policy, the SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region – initiative matches Widodo’s Global Maritime Fulcrum. Modi also said that both sides will double their efforts to take bilateral trade to $50 billion by 2025.
Following Wednesday’s meeting, Modi and Widodo inaugurated a kite exhibition jointly organised by Museum Layang Layang of Jakarta and the Kite Museum of Ahmedabad. The exhibition is themed around the Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The two leaders also visited the Istiqlal Mosque here, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.