India, ASEAN to work towards enhancing trade: PM Modi

 PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: January 26, 2018  | 09:03 IST
India, ASEAN to work towards enhancing trade, says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said India and the ASEAN will work towards further enhancing trade that has touched USD 70 billion, growing 25 times in the last 25 years.

Highlighting the importance information and communication technology, he said it will forge new bond of digital connectivity between India and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and help connect remote areas.

The nature of ASEAN-India partnership has evolved significantly, he said, while proposing a dialogue on digital financial inclusion and investment promotion to deepen understanding and cooperation in financial matters.

"Our trade has grown 25 times in 25 years. Investments are robust and growing. We will further enhance trade ties and work towards greater interaction among our business communities," Modi said at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit here.

Trade between the 10-nation regional block and India has grown to USD 70 billion 2016-17, he said, adding that investments between ASEAN and India are robust and growing.

The ASEAN comprises Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.

With regard to information and communication technology cooperation, the Prime Minister emphasised on a new area of cooperation through a regional high capacity fibre optic network to digitally connect remote areas.

"India offers to undertake a pilot project on rural connectivity which will create digital village in Cambodia, Laos PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. Success of this project could be replicated in other ASEAN countries," he said.

Modi also put forth India's offer for a training programme for professionals from ASEAN countries on telecom and networking technology to share best practices in policy, regulation and technological development.

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