Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet US Vice-President Mike Pence Wednesday in Singapore, where both leaders will participate in the East Asia summit.
Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (east) Vijay Thakur Singh Monday confirmed the meeting, which is scheduled to take place on November 14 on the sidelines of the ASEAN and East Asia summits.
Sources said that the agenda for discussions will cover regional issues, as well as some bilateral issues.
While Modi will travel to Singapore for only 36 hours between November 14 to 15 to attend the two summits and a few other engagements, Pence arrived in Tokyo Monday to discuss North Korea and other issues with Japanese officials before heading to the two regional summits.
Pence, in a recent op-ed article, had stressed on America’s commitment to the security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region, while Modi has also enunciated the government’s vision of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific in a speech at the Shangri La dialogue in June this year.
The meeting between Modi and Pence comes days after US President Donald Trump met Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu at the Paris Peace Forum on Sunday.
The US waiver on sanctions against Iran, as well as the waiver on India’s purchase of the S-400 system, are some of the issues, which have come up in the last few weeks.
A possible visit by Pence to India will also be discussed between the two sides during the meeting, sources said.
On the sidelines of the ASEAN summit, officials from India, Japan, the US and Australia will also meet as part of the Quadrilateral grouping. This will be the third meeting of Quad, which was revived in November last year on the sidelines of the East Asia and ASEAN summits in Manila (Philippines).
Modi will also have a breakfast meeting with ASEAN leaders as there will be no ASEAN — India summit — ASEAN rules bar dialogue partners to have two summits in a year. Since all 10 ASEAN leaders came to India for a commemorative summit in January this year and attended the Republic Day celebrations as chief guests, India is meeting them in a different format.
While in Singapore, Modi will also address some 30,000 people at the world’s largest gathering of financial technology companies in Singapore and is scheduled to speak at the Fintech Festival which has the largest gathering of global Fintech companies and delegates ranging from the industry leaders to smaller start-ups.
Modi will also launch APIX, a banking technology designed to reach two billion people worldwide who are still without bank accounts. Designed by software experts based in Hyderabad, Colombo and London, APIX is a sophisticated technology by Boston-headquartered Virtusa, designed for smaller banks, Tier 3 and 4, to reach out to people in remote regions.
APIX will support banks to reach out to those without bank accounts in 23 countries including the 10 ASEAN members as well as major markets such as India, and small nations including Fiji said officials.
“This time we are looking to launch the platform APIX. The ASEAN countries have put together their financial institutions on one platform. The prime minister would be launching that link with the Indian financial institutions,” Singh said.
“Leaders of the 16 negotiating countries would be there. At this summit, they would review the progress that has been made in the negotiations of the RCEP which are ongoing in Singapore,” Singh said.
Supporting Modi’s presence at the festival is the India Pavilion of 18 companies, organised by the state-owned Maharashtra Information Technology Corp Ltd (MahaIT). Eight of these companies are from Mumbai.