Asean and India join hands for closer ties

An Indian cultural performance during the Asean-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference gala dinner last night, held at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Guests at the dinner tucked into a spread that melded culinary traditions and ingred
An Indian cultural performance during the Asean-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference gala dinner last night, held at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. Guests at the dinner tucked into a spread that melded culinary traditions and ingredients from the Asean region.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Asian leaders have called for closer Asean-India economic cooperation and highlighted the huge potential of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact, as they marked the end of a conference which celebrates the contributions of the Indian diaspora.

At the Asean-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference yesterday, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan singled out the RCEP - spearheaded by Asean and involving six of its key partners, India included - calling it a historic opportunity to set up the world's largest trade bloc.

South-east Asia and India came together on the stage, and on the plate, on the final day of the two-day event as guests tucked into a spread that melded culinary traditions and ingredients from the Asean region and watched a fine arts performance.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2018, with the headline 'Asean and India join hands for closer ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe