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Help India eases visa norms for Vietnam,Cambodia,Indonesia and Phillipies
India eases visa norms for 4 Asean members

In an initiative to boost tourist traffic from Asean nations, prime minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday announced visa on arrival facility for the nationals of Vietnam, Cambodia , Indonesia and the Phillipines . The facility can be availed starting January 1, 2011.

“We invite many more tourists from the Asean countries to visit India to see the splendour of its rich cultural heritage...As a concrete measure, I am happy to announce that we will extend our visa-on-arrival facility to the nationals of Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines and Laos with effect from 1st of January 2011,” Mr Singh said while addressing the 8th India-Asean summit here.

Stressing that Asean was the core around which the process of economic integration of the Asia-Pacific region should be built, the prime minister said that India hoped to sustain 9-10% growth rate in the coming years, thus offering a whole lot of trade and investment opportunities.

“We hope that all formalities for implementing the India-Asean Trade in Goods Agreement by all Asean States are completed at an early date...The conclusion of a Services and Investment Agreement will be an important step in our goal of comprehensive economic cooperation,” he noted.

Stating that the India-Asean partnership had been working for the past five years to initiate cooperation in diverse sectors covering political and security ties, economic cooperation and the promotion of socio-cultural links, Mr Singh urged both sides to develop a plan of action to implement the Asean-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity for the years 2010-2011.

“It is an ambitious road map and the 82 action points reflect the vast potential and desire to develop a multi-faceted India-Asean relationship,” the prime minister observed. Calling for an accelerated pace of engagement as outlined in the plan of action, Mr Singh said the ‘Vision to Action’ theme of the Asean summit this year “is equally appropriate for our own partnership.”

He invited Asean Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan to visit India to review the mechanisms and procedures in place so that the pace of implementing agreed projects can be speeded up.

While thanking Vietnam for its hospitality, Mr Singh also condoled the loss of lives and property in the recent tsunami in Indonesia and the floods in Vietnam.

Mr Singh called upon the Asean nations to make further efforts to identify concrete projects for cooperation under the India- Asean Science & Technology Fund, India Asean Green Fund and the US $50 million India-Asean Fund announced in 2009. As a further measure to support the Asean Master Plan on Connectivity, India also offered 100 of IT scholarships to each of the 10 Asean countries over the next 5 years.

Last but not the least, Mr Singh commended the progress in Indo- Asean cooperation in political and security matters. “These are important areas of our cooperation not only because of the common threats that we face but also because such cooperation helps to built mutual trust and understanding,” he noted.

Meanwhile, India is all set to host the commemorative India- Asean summit here in 2012. Describing it as a landmark event, the prime minister called for early preparations. “The Eminent Persons Group should be set up quickly so that it can formulate a vision statement towards a long term strategic partnership between Asean and India, that could be the theme of the Summit,” Mr Singh said.
Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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