Indian Parliament Speaker Om Birla highlighted the Indian diaspora as a 'powerful force' in the country's Look East policy while addressing the Indian community and “friends of India” in Singapore.
"Indian diaspora is one of the important powerful forces of India's Look East Policy," Lok Sabha Birla said during a visit to Singapore over the weekend, adding, that the diaspora is playing the role of a catalyst to further bridge the gap among countries and improve the bilateral relationships.
India's Look East policy was adopted in the early 1990s and seeks to deepen India's economic and strategic ties with south-east Asian countries. The 'Look East' policy was followed up by the 'Act East' policy adopted in the 2010s.
"Diaspora's active contribution to the comprehensive economic and social development of Singapore has laid the foundation for strong relations between the two countries," Birla observed.
The Lok Sabha Speaker has been on an official visit to south-east Asia since April 19 leading a parliamentary delegation.
Speaking in Singapore, Birla said that in the 75 years of India's independence, the country has undergone an extensive political, social and economic transformation and India's democracy and its democratic institutions have set a perfect example of inclusive growth before the whole world.
He also added that as India evacuated more than 30,000 civilians from Ukraine and neighbouring countries from the war zone, the self-respect, strength and power of present-day India have been recognised by the world.
"India has a strong voice in global fora on issues like climate change, terrorism, and global peace," Birla said.
On April 23, Birla visited the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia and appreciated the restoration work of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in the area.