India for new initiatives with Asean on economic meltdown

India for new initiatives with Asean on economic meltdown

New Delhi: India will make a strong pitch for new initiatives with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), countries to collectively respond to challenges thrown up by the global economic meltdown and climate change during the two day India-Asean and East Asia Summits beginning in Thailand on Saturday.

In a statement before his departure for Bangkok, prime minister Manmohan Singh said on Friday he will discuss with Asean leaders new initiatives to accelerate the process of engagement in areas such as greater economic integration.

The other areas include agriculture, human resource development, education, science and technology and information and communications technology, he said.

The Thai beach resort of Hua Hin, known for its quiet coastal villages, will host 16 Asia Pacific leaders to discuss ways for increased economic and strategic engagement among themselves.

Leaders from the 10-member Asean, India, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia would be attending the twin meets which were twice postponed since December 2008 in the wake of anti-government protests in Thailand.

Singh said he would be having bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao. The talks will take place against the backdrop of war of words in recent weeks on Arunachal Pradesh.