Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pitched for greater cooperation between India and East Asian economies on Saturday amid global economic uncertainties.
Addressing the sixth East Asia summit plenary session in Bali, Singh pointed out that India is working actively to integrate with the ASEAN region and is in the process of finalising a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with ASEAN.
Addressing the 18-member East Asia Summit, the prime minister also assured the audience that despite facing a slowdown this year, India’s economic growth is still expected to be around 7.5%.
“Against the global economic background that we are in, it is all the more important that we give full play to flows of trade, investment, services and ideas among ourselves. Howsoever complex the task, we should persevere with the project of East Asian economic integration and in our efforts towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia,” Singh said while pointing out that the emerging Asian markets are growing well and contributing to the recovery of the world economy.
But he also made it clear that the move should be at a pace and in the direction with which the ASEAN countries are comfortable and which responds to their concerns and priorities.
While the US and the Russia formally joined the East Asia Summit process this year, Singh termed the Eurozone crisis as the “most serious fault line” and reminded that other countries too, have a stake in an early resolution of the Eurozone crisis.