Sushma Swaraj met Singaporean counterpart and discussed trade

Vastavam web: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today met with her Singaporean counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan here and discussed bilateral and multilateral issues relating to the economic and strategic partnership, officials said.The two leaders also discussed the enormous potential for cooperation between ASEAN and India, officials said.Swaraj addressed the Indian diaspora at the ASEAN-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) during which she reaffirmed India’s commitment to ASEAN. She also met delegates from the ASEAN countries attending the PBD.

Balakrishnan said that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between ASEAN and six of its key partners including India is a historic opportunity to set up the world’s largest trade bloc.”Economic integration is not just a mantra, but it is crucial for the mutual prosperity of the citizens of India and of ASEAN,” Balakrishnan told some 3,000 Indian delegates.

He pointed out that the potential was still untapped.”There is a huge potential for growth in trade, tourism and many other fields (between India and ASEAN),” he said.Earlier today, Swaraj said that India’s dialogue partnership with ASEAN has evolved into a strategic partnership and the Indian diaspora provides a platform for stronger ties with the grouping.ASEAN, which comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, is India’s fourth largest trading partner, accounting for 10.2 per cent of India’s total trade.