ASEAN is one of the major hubs for India's global economic engagement. New Delhi would like to re-visit the level of ambition that it has set for the partnership with the South East Asian bloc, said Indian External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar.
Speaking at the INDO-ASEAN business summit on October 7, EAM Jaishankar noted that India's ties with the ASEAN are rooted in history, geography and culture. "What has energised them in recent years is a growing awareness of the potential they hold for our mutual interests and development. As our cooperation grew in the course of the last 25 years, new facets and domains emerged for collaboration."
The minister said that the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the backdrop for how most countries approach their economic policies and even shape our way of life.
Underscoring the strides made by India in the field of COVID-19 production, Jaishankar said, "Our global collaborations have enabled us to emerge as a major vaccine production centre for the world. In fact, we have also seen innovative methods of collaboration, including an initiative agreed upon by the Quad countries."
He said COVID-19 has also given an additional impetus to the diversification of the global value chain already in progress. "India's campaign for an Atmanirbhar Bharat or a self-reliant India resonates with our quest to become a democratic and trustworthy partner for global industrial resiliency."
Summing up his speech, the minister said India's economic recovery is impelled by reform in manufacturing, labour, agriculture, education, skills and, of course, improving the ease of doing business.
"We aspire to be a more effective engine of growth and a part of reliable and resilient supply chains. International cooperation, especially among businesses, will be very much a key to the better world that we all seek. India and ASEAN can surely work together more closely to this end."