New Delhi [India], October 7 (ANI): Highlighting the recent surge in trade between ASEAN and India, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Thursday said the regional bloc and India remain committed to enhancing ASEAN centrality and to "promoting an open and inclusive regional architecture."
Speaking at the INDO-ASEAN business summit, Balakrishnan stated that he is encouraged by the recent moves that strengthened the two-way trade and investment. "...Removal of the retrospective taxation and the national monetization pipeline that aims to tap sector private investment for new infrastructure."
"We look forward to India's increased engagement with ASEAN under its Act East Policy and expanding innovative new areas of collaboration," he added.
The minister said noted that in the recent past trade volume has significantly increased between India and Singapore.
"Since we established ASEAN and India free trade area in 2010, trade has almost doubled to USD 77 billion in 2019. Even in the phase of COVID-19, India and ASEAN have worked together to maintain supply chains and facilitate the flow of the essentials."
He recalled his meeting with External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar that he had in New York last week where they discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation and Southeast Asia in the general.
"The links between India and South East Asia date back many centuries. With trade and migration flowing via maritime routes, our two regions remain closely connected today. People to people exchanges, economic ties, cultural links, religious affiliations and even culinary innovations, anchors our ties," he added.
The minister further informed that ASEAN and India are now undergoing a scoping exercise on a potential review of the ASEAN-India Trade and Goods agreement.
"We look forward to a more effective user-friendly and trade facilitative agreement that will benefit our economies for the long term," he added.
Singapore is set to be the ASEAN-India dialogue relations country coordinator for the next three years. (ANI)