India to deepen ties with ASEAN: Sushma Swaraj
SINGAPORE: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday said that as the trilateral highway project from India to Thailand is making considerable progress, New Delhi is planning to extend its connection further with other ASEAN countries.
Swaraj while addressing the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations in Singapore said the whole of the South-East Asia is on the rise in partnership with each other and added that ASEAN region is integral to Asia’s success and to a possibility of an Asian century.
“Today 16 Indian cities are connected to Singapore, a trilateral highway project from India to Thailand is making progress and we plan to extend this further to connect India with other ASEAN countries,” Swaraj said here.
Swaraj further highlighted the potential and promises in the defining partnership between India and South-East Asia.
Defining the trade agreement between India and ASEAN nations as the most “ambitious” one, the External Affairs Minister said that the strength of the partnership and the engagement between the two regions lies in the clarity of the principle.
“India and ASEAN future is full of possibility and also of enormous responsibility. Our north-east region will prosper when it is better connected to south-east Asia and when north-east becomes our pitch to South-East Asia, we will be closer to realize our hopes for India and ASEAN ties,” she said.
She further stressed on the need to prepare to tackle the common challenges in the region like- creating skills for the digital age, generating jobs in the age of disruption, meeting the need of rapid urbanisation , protecting the bio-diversity, making the energy sources cleaner and pulling together the knowledge for productive agriculture.