More India-Asean aviation, maritime links needed: Vivian Balakrishnan

11/3/2017 3:03:44 PM
written By : Team India Se Print

India should engage more with the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean), said Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, calling for enhanced maritime and aviation connectivity between India and Asean. He was speaking at the Singapore Symposium in New Delhi on October 31.

India needs to liberalise air services, he said. Singapore, a city-state with five-and-a-half million people, attracts more than 16 million tourists a year -- but India only 8.2 million. India has many airports and could attract more visitors by connecting to many more points in Asean, said Dr Balakrishnan, citing a study commissioned by the International Air Transport Association, which found that a 10 per cent increase in air connectivity could boost India’s economy by US$600 million (about $816 millon).

India can also tap into Singapore's expertise in ports, said Dr Balakrishnan, pointing out PSA was already involved in India and could do more.

 Dr Balakrishnan hoped there would be more interaction between Singapore, Asean and India is in the digital world. "We already have commercial projects such as NETS (NETS is the electronic payments system in Singapore) with RuPay. Singapore can potentially serve as RuPay’s first overseas market," he said.

India was Singapore’s 10th largest trading partner and Singapore the second largest foreign investor in India in 2016, he noted, pointing out cumulative Singapore FDI to India from 2000 to 2016 was US$45.9 billion. or about 16 per cent of India's total FDI.



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