VP Ansari begins 5-day visit to Brunei, Thailand

RSTV Bureau

VP-Hamid-Ansari-at-RSTV-new-look-launch-event-at-Vigyan-Bhawan,-Jan-10Vice President Hamid Ansari is on a historic 5-day visit to Brunei and Thailand where he is likely to take forward India’s Act East policy.

The goal of the visit is to not only increase two-way investment opportunities with both Brunei and Thailand, but also create a convergence of views and increase political cooperation on regional and global issues.

Vice President’s visit to Darussalam in Brunei until February 3, is the first high-level tour from India since India established diplomatic relations with the country in May 1984. In Darussalam, VP Ansari will hold talks with Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and Sultan of Brunei. VP is also expected to address the Indian community in Darussalam.

“During his meetings the Hon. Vice President will discuss a number of issues of bilateral, regional and multilateral significance, and also hold discussions on cooperation in sectors such as civil aviation, space, trade and investment besides hydrocarbons, information and communication, etc. Cooperation in ASEAN and East Asia Summit and other multilateral fora will also be on the agenda”, said Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs.

Brunei is an important partner for India in ASEAN and besides contributing to energy security, it hosts a 10,000-strong Indian community.

The Vice President will then head to Bangkok on February 3 where he will meet Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha and also have an audience with Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. VP’s visit to Bangkok will be the first visit by an Indian Vice President after a gap of 50 years.

“In Bangkok the Vice President will deliver a speech at the Chulalongkorn University on India’s Look East to Act East policy…. Then he will also address the Indian community. Vice President will also make a brief visit to the city of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand to reinforce cultural ties,” said Wadhwa.

India’s relations with Thailand are an important and integral component in its strategic partnership with ASEAN. India’s ‘Act East’ policy is complemented by Thailand’s ‘Look West’ policy in bringing the two countries closer.

On his 5-day tour, the Vice President is accompanied by Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, four MPs among other senior officials.

(With inputs from PTI)