Great opportunities for India-ASEAN collaboration: Singapore minister

There was considerable excitement among the delegates attending the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas at Singapore

"India today is not the country you left 100 or 150 years ago, it has been transformed", she said, addressing the the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference here on Sunday.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the two-day ASEAN India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2018 held here, Teo made a vigorous pitch on the opportunities available for Indian businesses in Singapore.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is India's 4th largest trading partner, accounting for 10.2 per cent of its total trade.

Artistes from dance companies and arts societies in ASEAN performing during Kala Tantavi - the cultural show during the gala dinner - to commemorate the ties that bind India and South East Asia.

She said states play a vital role in India's progress and advancing the country's economic ties with the world.

His Indian counterpart, Ms Sushma Swaraj, also outlined her vision for the region, saying: "For India, Asean leadership and centrality is essential to peace and prosperity for a rapidly changing Indo-Pacific region". Trade is back on track and registered an 8 per cent increase in 2016- 17, as compared to the previous year.

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Ministers called on Asean and India to press on with economic integration, with Singapore's leaders plumping, in particular, for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact as a key way to do so.

"Our diaspora provides a platform for a stronger relationship between India and ASEAN countries", she said.

Singers Sonam Kalra and Raghu Dixit also performed during the event in Singapore while veteran actor-director Satish Kaushik took a masterclass as part of the ASEAN India Cinefest.

The ASEAN comprises of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

"India and Asean can benefit greatly from greater economic integration and greater openness, especially with our economies and people".

Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan with Indian EAM Sushma Swaraj before the opening address on Day 2 of the PBD.

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