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ASEAN can leverage India’s ‘vibrant' technology and start-up scene to facilitate finance and trade: PM Lee

SINGAPORE: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members can leverage India’s “vibrant” technology and start-up scene to further initiatives that facilitate finance and trade, said Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday (Oct 28).

Speaking at the 18th ASEAN-India summit which was held virtually, Mr Lee noted that there is room to work together in this area.

“There is much scope for collaboration to create interoperable digital financial systems focused on inclusion for our local communities and on expanding opportunities for our businesses,” he said.

On public health cooperation, including vaccine provision and distribution, Mr Lee noted that India plays a “critical role” in the global pharmaceutical supply chain.

“As an aviation and transhipment hub with robust cold chain capabilities, Singapore can support India as an effective vaccine transhipment point for Southeast Asia and beyond,” he added.

Singapore is currently country coordinator for ASEAN-India dialogue relations.

Pointing out that ASEAN and India enjoy “multi-faceted cooperation” across all ASEAN pillars, Mr Lee stressed that there was more that could be done together.

Both sides must push ahead on “key cooperation areas”, he added, one of which is jointly addressing climate change and environment issues.

Mr Lee said that early next year, Singapore will co-host two workshops with India on combatting marine pollution and illegal, unreported and unlicensed fishing under the East Asia Summit framework.

There is also the exploring of long-term cooperation in areas such as combating transboundary haze, waste management and the circular economy,” he added.

Mr Lee said: “Together, I am confident that we will find new and innovative ways to further our strategic partnership.”

Source: CNA/mt(gr)


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