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.
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.
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”.
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.