3 ways to deepen cooperation between ASEAN and India: PM Lee

Highlighting “good relations and multi-faceted cooperation” between India and Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said efforts should be “redoubled” in the pursuit of economic integration.

Speaking at the 16th ASEAN-India Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, PM Lee spoke about three potential ways in which cooperation between ASEAN and India can be deepened.

The 16th ASEAN-India Summit was held in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo courtesy: Betty Chua, MCI
The 16th ASEAN-India Summit was held in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo courtesy: Betty Chua, MCI

Pointing out that ASEAN and India have a combined market of close to 2 billion people and more than SGD 7.47 trillion in Gross Domestic Product, PM Lee said on Sunday, November 3, that, “First, we should redouble efforts to pursue economic integration.”

For instance, in accordance with the Delhi Declaration, economic opportunities can be enhanced by improving transport connectivity. “I hope the ASEAN-India Air Transport Agreement and ASEAN-India Maritime Transport Agreement can be expeditiously concluded,” he added.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the 16th ASEAN-India Summit held in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo courtesy: Betty Chua, MCI
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the 16th ASEAN-India Summit held in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo courtesy: Betty Chua, MCI

In addition, with ASEAN and India sharing a common interest in maintaining regional peace and security, new areas such as cybersecurity could be a platform for cooperation, said PM Lee, according to media reports.

“Singapore recently launched the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre for Excellence,” and looks forward to "partnering India to help strengthen the region’s cyber capacity and resilience”.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong caught up with India PM Narendra Modi while waiting for the gala dinner at the ASEAN summit to begin. Photo courtesy: PMO
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong caught up with India PM Narendra Modi while waiting for the gala dinner at the ASEAN summit to begin. Photo courtesy: PMO

Sustainable development is a third area that both sides can work on, PM Lee said. This includes tackling transboundary environmental challenges. He welcomed India's participation in the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, saying he looked forward to "exchanging views on these issues and more".

PM Lee also commended India’s efforts in tackling climate change. He highlighted measures such as increasing its renewable energy capacity, and launching the Jal Jeevan Mission for water conservation, rainwater harvesting, and water resources development.

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CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

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