Singapore has been an “important” partner in the advancement of India’s Act East policy and the country in many ways has shaped New Delhi’s engagement with South East Asia, India’s new envoy said in Singapore. “Singapore in many ways has led or shaped India’s engagement with South east Asia, and beyond so it has been an important partner in the advancement of India’s Act East policy,” India’s High Commissioner to Singapore Jawed Ashraf told tabla! a Singapore Friday weekly.
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Ashraf feels Singapore’s extraordinary success is a source of inspiration to everyone. India also sees Singapore and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as important partners in building a peaceful, stable and increasingly integrated region, which can continue to anchor prosperity across Asia and the Pacific.
The need for such shared pursuit has become even more urgent and important in these times of many challenges and uncertainties, stressed Ashraf. However, he added that a good relationship also needs constant nurturing.
“So we have to address a number of other issues and see how we can sustain the momentum of our trade and investment ties, deepen our technological partnerships and create and facilitate for Singapore to play an important role in areas such as smart cities, urban development, sustainable living, and sustainable habitats in India,” said Ashraf. The High Commissioner also noted the unique position the Indian diaspora enjoys in Singapore.
“Whether they (the Indian diaspora) came generations ago or now, they represent and embody the diversity of India, its heritage, its talent and progress and they constitute a really vibrant part of Singapore,” said Ashraf. The Indian community in the city state is a bridge between India and Singapore, he added.
“They (the Indian community) represent probably the strongest pillar of this relationship which rests on the solid foundation of many pillars. They not only give it a strong human touch, they are also in many ways driving the all round progress in the relationship between India and Singapore, whether it is in trade, commerce or in people to people ties,” he added.
“All in all I would say that they have every reason to be proud of being a part of Singapore’s great success story and its pluralist society; and they can take pride in their Indian heritage and in what they have been contributing towards strengthening this extraordinary relations,” Ashraf was quoted as saying by the Singapore weekly on Indian society. The High Commissioner presented his credentials to President Tony Tan on November 23, 2016.