Indo – France Relations
- Rafale fighter jet: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh formally received the first Rafale fighter jet built for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in France.
- However, the first batch of the jets will arrive in India only in May 2020.
India and BRICS
- The 11th BRICS Summit took place from 13th-14th November 2019 in Brasilia, Brazil.
- The theme of the 2019 BRICS summit is "Economic Growth for an Innovative Future.”
- BRICS countries adopted the Brasilia Declaration.
- It advocates and supports multilateralism, the central role of the U.N. in international affairs and respect for international law.
India’s Stand at the Summit:
- Intra-BRICS trade accounts for just 15% of world trade, it needs to be increased. India invited business leaders of the member nations for investment, particularly in infrastructure development.
- India proposed to hold the first meeting of BRICS Water Ministers in India.
- India highlighted the menace of terrorism which has resulted in the loss of $1 trillion to the world economy.
Meetings on the sidelines of the Summit:
India – Brazil:
- India invited the President of Brazil as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day 2020.
- Brazil has decided to grant visa-free travel to Indian citizens.
India – China:
- The Chinese President invited the Indian Prime Minister for the 3rd informal summit in China in 2020. The first informal summit took place at Wuhan (China-2018) and second at Mamallapuram (India-2019).
- Both the leaders reviewed preparations for celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2020.
India – Russia:
- 1st Bilateral Regional Forum at the level of Russian Provinces and the Indian States will be held in 2020.
- India has been invited for investment in the Arctic region. The US $ 25 billion target of bilateral trade by 2025 has already been achieved.
- The Prime Minister of India attended the 16th India-ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on November 03, 2019.
- Along with this Summit, the other summits that took place in Thailand are-
- 35th ASEAN Summit,
- 14th East Asia Summit, and
- 3rd meeting of RCEP
- During the summit, the discussions were held to promote India-ASEAN strategic partnership along with cooperation in the field of maritime security and blue economy, trade and investment, connectivity, science and technology, and innovation.
- On the socio-cultural front, the focus was made on enhancing people-to-people connectivity, cultural exchanges, humanitarian aid, and tourism.
- The Prime Minister also talked about the mutual coordination between India's vision of the Indo-Pacific region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Outlook for maintaining strategic balance in the region, which has been witnessing growing Chinese assertiveness.
- At the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit, a trade negotiation deal is yet to be finalized after considering all issues that concern Indian interests in trade in goods, services, and investments.
- The PM addressed the Indian community at the 'Sawasdee PM Modi' event in Bangkok.
- In the Thai language, the word ‘Sawasdee’ is used for greetings and goodbye.
During the visit, the Indian PM held bilateral meetings with a number of other world leaders present at Bangkok.
- The Indian Prime Minister highlighted the importance of Myanmar to India's Look East Policy and the Neighbourhood First policies.
- The emphasis was laid on building a stable and peaceful border by improving physical connectivity to and through Myanmar to Southeast Asia via. building roads, ports, and expansion of air connectivity.
- India would continue to support the capacity expansion programme for Myanmar's police, military and civil servants, as well as its students and citizens.
- India plans to host a business event for the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam) in Yangon.
- India and Indonesia agreed to work together for peace, security, and prosperity in order to achieve their shared vision on maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The two leaders discussed the threat of extremism and terrorism and agreed to work closely bilaterally and globally to tackle this menace.
- India is working with Indonesia to strengthen the ties in the areas of defence, security, connectivity, trade and investment, and people-to-people exchanges.
- The Indian PM highlighted the need for greater market access for Indian commodities in Indonesia including, pharmaceutical, automotive and agricultural products.
- India shares a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Indonesia. And this year (2019), India and Indonesia commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.