Ansari wraps up Brunei visit, departs for Thailand

3 Feb 2016 | By Gaurav

Vice President Hamid Ansari concluded the first leg of his visit to South East Asia, wrapping up his visit to Brunei after signing 3 agreements.

He visited Brunei on 1 February, and met Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah and Speaker of the State Legislative Council Haji Mohammad Taib.

Ansari's next visit is to Thailand where security co-operation will be on the agenda.

In context: Acting East: India, Brunei and Thailand

Act EastWhat is the Act East Policy?

The Look East Policy was introduced during Prime Minister Narasimha Rao's tenure and began implementation during the Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh administrations.

The policy aimed to cultivate economic and strategic relations with Southeast Asian nations in order to bolster India's standing as a regional power.

The Narendra Modi government sought to extend this policy by expanding regional engagement, and introduced the Act East Policy.

1 Feb 2016Vice President begins 5-day visit to Brunei, Thailand

Vice President Hamid Ansari began a five day visit to Brunei and Thailand, where he is expected to sign deals on security, health and economic cooperation.

His visit to Thailand acquires significance as it seals a year-long high-level security cooperation agreement with Thailand signed in 2015.

In Brunei, Ansari was to meet Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and influential members of the Indian community.

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3 Feb 2016Ansari wraps up Brunei visit, departs for Thailand

Brunei: MoUs signed on health, defence and sports

3 Feb 2016Brunei: MoUs signed on health, defence and sports

The MoU on health seeks to upgrade the health care, medical education and research co-operation between the two countries.

The MoU on defence will enable the two countries to conduct joint military exercises and improve co-operation between the defence industries of both nations.

The MoU on youth and sports affairs seeks to facilitate the exchange of expertise in coaching, sports management and administration.

India's stakes in South China Sea (SCS)

Ansari expressed solidarity with Brunei's concerns on Chinese territorial claims affecting free maritime traffic in the SCS. The bulk of Brunei's oil and gas exports to India flow through the Muara port, which is in the SCS region.

Thailand What is expected out of the Thailand visit?

Hamid Ansari will be the first Indian Vice President to visit Thailand in 50 years.

He will hold bilateral discussions with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who will also host a banquet in Ansari's honour.

Talks on enhancing counter-terrorism and defence co-operation are expected to be held.

He will also deliver a lecture at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok on India's Act East Policy.