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‘ASEAN must strengthen ties with Asia-Pacific’
July 15, 2012
3:24 am
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rath
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Friday, July 13, 2012

New Delhi: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) must strengthen ties with other countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

"ASEAN needs to strengthen its cooperation with its partners in Asia," Lee said at the ''Singapore Symposium'' here.

"ASEAN needs to strengthen its cooperation with its partners in Asia. It's dialogue partners, the plus ones, (such as) India, Korea, Australia, Japan, China and so on. And one major initiative which ASEAN is pursuing to strengthen its partnership with these plus ones, which is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)," Lee added.

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Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar ( Burma ), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam,

He further said that India had the potential to bring its growth rate to over 8 per cent in the near future.

"There is every reason why India should be able to go further, and to be able to grow not just at 7 plus per cent which they are projecting now, but 8-9 per cent for another 5-10 years, easily. Because the potential is there, the human capabilities are there. I think the technological know-how is significantly available. Your leading companies are world, and you also have big areas where if you can catch up to even half the gap, you will already make a big difference," Lee said.

India's cumulative investment in Singapore has been 23 billion dollars from 2000-2012, as per sources.

Likewise, Singapore's cumulative investment in India is 17 billion dollars for the same 10-year period.

The bilateral trade was USD 21.8 billion as of fiscal January 2012, up from USD 8.7 billion in 2005-06. An estimated 4,500 Indian companies have set up offices in Singapore to manage global and regional businesses.

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