The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, returned home on Tuesday night after attending the 10th ASEAN-India and the Seventh East Asia Summits in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Apart from attending the two summits, Dr. Singh also had bilateral meetings with his Cambodian, Japanese and Chinese counterparts, and an interaction with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the two events.
Singh met Obama thrice, and is said to have congratulated him on his re-election as U.S. President in the November 6 polls.
Obama told Prime Minister Singh that India was a "big part" of his plans during his second term in the White House.
During his meeting with Singh, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced that Japan will give a fresh loan of about USD 2.26 billion for the second phase of Dedicated Freight Corridor and an infrastructure project in South India.
Singh, who also met his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao yesterday, invited Chinese investments in the infrastructure sector while conveying India's concerns over trade imbalance. Wen said India's concerns could be addressed "gradually".
During his address to the East Asia Summit of 18 countries today, Singh advocated establishing of a "common set of principles" and "cooperative mechanisms" to deepen economic integration and ensure "open, inclusive and rule-based architecture" in the Asia Pacific region.
His remarks came against the backdrop of a row between china and other East Asian countries the over South China Sea.
At the India-ASEAN Summit yesterday, Singh announced that India was ready to conclude the much-delayed Free Trade Agreement in Services and Investment with the 10-nation grouping by next month that will provide a "springboard" for rapid expansion in ties, as he invited investments from the region citing "enormous opportunities".
Contending that enhanced cooperation between India and ASEAN was crucial for promotion of peace, security and stability in the region and addressing shared challenges, he said the agreement in Services and Investment with ASEAN will send a strong signal of deepening economic engagement. (ANI)