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DNA IN SINGAPORE: ASEAN unity for world stability, says PM Narendra Modi

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DNA IN SINGAPORE: ASEAN unity for world stability, says PM Narendra Modi Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers the keynote address at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Friday , Reuters

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Written By

Kartikeya Sharma

Updated: Jun 2, 2018, 05:05 AM IST

The much-awaited IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Sing apore started with renewed emphasis on the connection between India and countries in southeast Asia. Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address on Day 2 of his three-day visit to the island nation.

He said that Singapore is an example of great excellence. "When rules prevail and oceans are open, nations prosper and Singapore is an example of it," he said, adding "Lion nation and Lion city is united by common values and Singapore is the gateway into the East for us."

He emphasized that in past three decades, the lost connection with the East has been reclaimed. Earlier in the day, India and Singapore agreed to upgrade their Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement to boost bilateral trade, and signed eight agreements in the fields of the training of public service officials, cyber security, narcotics control and defence cooperation.

The review includes expanded tariff concessions for an additional 30 products and improve d rules to provide more flexibility for Singapore exports into India.

PM traced the importance of oceans to pre-Vedic times, and linked in to current trade in the region. He said that oceans carry 90 per cent of the Indian trade and India's relationship with states around oceans is expanding with exceeding pace.

"Global transit routes should remain peaceful and free for all," he said. "Southeast Asia is our neighbour by land and sea."

During his visit, an implementation agreement was signed between the Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy, concerning mutual coordination, logistics and services support for naval ships, submarines and naval aircraft (including Ship borne Aviation Assets) visits.

In the address, he detailed the projects in southeast Asia, where India is deeply involved. Through his speech, PM Modi continued to emphasize the need for a stable Indo-Pacific region.

He spoke about his meeting with his C hinese counterpart Xi Jinping in April as an example of his country's expanding co-operation with China. "Two day meeting in Wuhan helped cement an understanding," he said, adding "The world will have a better future if India and China can work together."

Modi after mentioning China and Russia continued to emphasize India's strong cultural relationship with South East Asia.

He spoke about India's deepening defence ties with the countries in this region. "With Singapore, we have had the longest and uninterrupted naval exercise lasting 25 years," he said, adding that India's presence will grow in the region and be built on the bedrock of peace.

However, great power rivalry must be avoided. "Differences should not be allowed to turn into disputes," he emphasized, coming back to cultural roots. "Our roles will be inclusive. We are inheritors of Vedanta philosophy. The truth is one and learned speak in many ways. This is the way we engage the world. It is not dependent on the size of a country."

The speech ended with the emphasis that world stability depends on nations working together.

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