SINGAPORE: Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said the region which stands to benefit most from a collaborative relationship between China and India is arguably Southeast Asia.
At the same time, Southeast Asia offers a prime location and multi—sectoral opportunities for China and India to work together, and with others.
Mr Goh was speaking at the International conference on South Asia organised by the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS).
To mark the 20th anniversary of ASEAN—India relations, a car rally will start on November 26 at Yogyakarta in Indonesia, and the entourage of 30 cars will be in Singapore on November 28.
Mr Goh said such an endeavour would probably have been unimaginable 20 years ago.
He added that at a time when the world is experiencing strong headwinds, China and India would want to focus on economic growth to lift the living standards of their people.
He urged Southeast Asian nations to continually explore and expand beyond existing areas of cooperation like through the recently launched Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Mr Goh said: "It is good that China and India have agreed to join RCEP as it would entrench their linkages to Southeast Asia, and to each other, by embedding them in a regional economic architecture that seeks to promote prosperity and stability. The RCEP and other initiatives such as the Trans—Pacific Partnership (TPP) will pave the way towards a Free Trade Area of the Asia—Pacific."
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