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MoS Ranjan Singh, New Zealand PM take part in 1st India Business Summit 2023

New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): On his maiden official visit to New Zealand,8203;Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, along with New Zealand's Prime Minister Chris Hipkins took part in the 1st India Business Summit 2023, the Ministry of External Affairs informed through a release.

The summit was co-organised by the High Commission of India in Wellington and the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

Singh paid an official visit to New Zealand from September 24 to 29.

At the Summit, the MoS shared his views on India's economic growth and boosting bilateral ties between India and New Zealand.

8203;8203;The MoS held bilateral meetings with Priyanca Radhakrishnan, New Zealand's minister for Ethnic Community and Voluntary Sector and Jan Tinetti, the minister for Education. Both sides discussed a range of issues on bilateral cooperation and acknowledged that increased high-level engagements in thepast year have led to a positive momentum in the relations, the MEA stated, adding that the possibilities for furthering cooperation in the education sector as well as the welfare of Indian students were also discussed.

The8203;MoS held interactions with academia as well as think tanks, calling for enhanced cooperation between the academic institutions. He also interacted with Indian students and the members of the diaspora, acknowledging and appreaciating their contributions to strengthening business, culture and people-to-people ties between India and New Zealand, the release added.

Singh will undertake an official visit to Dili, Timor-Leste, from September 30 to October 3.

The visit would mark the first high-level visit from India to Timor-Leste since 2018.

During the visit, the MoS will meet Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao. The MoS will also hold meetings with the Southeast Asian country's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Bendito dos Santos Freitas and TradeIndustry Minister Filipus Nino Pereira, according to a release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday.

Singh will also meet heads of some United Nations agencies, and bodies. The MoS External Affairs will then interact with members of the Indian community and take part in Gandhi Jayanti celebrations.

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the opening of an Indian embassy in Dili while addressing the 20th ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta.

"Act East in action - Delhi to Dili! At the ASEAN-India Summit in Jakarta, PM @narendramodi announces decision to open our Embassy in Dili, Timor-Leste," MEA official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi posted on X after PM Modi's announcement.

Dili is the capital city of Timor-Leste, or East Timor, situated in the country's north coast. The city holds importance as it recalls the nation's struggles for independence from Portugal as well as Indonesia.

India's decision to open an embassy in Dilli shows its commitment to the Act East policy, according to the MEA.

The ASEAN Summit held in Cambodia announced that Timor-Leste "in principle" will be admitted as the 11th member state of the group.

The country will be granted observer status at ASEAN meetings, including summit plenaries.

The bloc made the announcement more than a decade after Timor-Leste requested membership. The statement said that there will be an "objective criteria-based roadmap" for Timor-Leste's full membership.

"In principle to admit Timor-Leste to be the 11th member of ASEAN," it added.

The bloc decided to "grant an observer status to Timor Leste, allowing its participation in all ASEAN meetings, including at the summit plenaries," read the statement.

The leaders had discussed this at a plenary session held in the Cambodian capital. (ANI)