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18 August – SINGAPORE: ‘SPRINGBOARD’ FOR INDIA’S ASEAN STRATEG

The political leadership of India and Singapore is “closely aligned in its thinking” and the city-state is a “springboard” for New Delhi’s ASEAN strategy.

• Singapore and India have a remarkable historical connection and continue to be closely linked in many areas.
• There are nearly 30 regular bilateral mechanism, dialogues and exercises between the two countries.
• The political leadership is closely aligned in its thinking, as Singapore is looked as a springboard for ASEAN strategy and work closely to enhance the trade and investment partnership.
• The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is considered one of the most influential groupings in the region, and India and several other countries including the US, China, Japan and Australia are its dialogue partners.
• The member countries of ASEAN are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.
• The ties between India and ASEAN have been on an upswing in the last few years with focus being on ramping up cooperation in the areas of trade and investment as well as security and defence.
• There is a great convergence on a broad range of international issues, and both India and Singapore are members of a number of forums such as the East Asia Summit, Commonwealth, Indian Ocean Rim Association and Indian Ocean Naval Symposium.
• Trade and economic ties between Singapore and India are extensive and growing’.
• Singapore’s financial hub status, high levels of success in developing vocational skills and knowledge of the 10-member nation ASEAN market, combined with India’s long-term growth prospects, land availability, and a large and young workforce willing to work at affordable wage offers complementarity that can be exploited for mutual benefits.
• In addition, there are a number of areas such as research and innovation, startups, fintech, artificial intelligence, logistics, pharmaceuticals and vaccines that offer huge opportunities for partnership.
• The ASEAN region along with India together comprises a combined population of 1.85 billion people, which is one fourth of the global population and their combined GDP has been estimated at over USD 3.8 trillion.

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