BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Showcasing the India growth opportunity, Vice-President Hamid Ansari pitched for transformation of India-Brunei relations and stressed that the government’s scheme like Make in India has opened new vistas for investment by ASEAN countries. Addressing students and faculty at the University of Brunei Darussalam on February 3, Mr Ansari said that as India embarks on a sustained high growth trajectory, its increasing energy requirements offer Brunei an opportunity to enhance export of hydrocarbons to New Delhi.
India, he said, is also keen to work with Brunei in setting up a fertiliser plant that would make use of the hydrocarbon resources available here.
In a speech entitled ‘India-Brunei: Partners in Peace and Prosperity,’ Mr Ansari said, “The growing Indian economy also provides us with an opportunity to move beyond the typical energy seller-buyer relationship. There is tremendous potential to diversify and do value-addition in the hydrocarbon export chain.” He also spoke about how India was “keen to work with Brunei in setting up a fertiliser plant and how it would make use of the hydrocarbon resource.
Speaking about the historical and cultural linkages between Brunei and India dating back to the third century, Mr Ansari underlined that it has given the confidence to forge a strong and abiding relationship in modern times.
Thanking Brunei for its assistance to and cooperation with India’s space programmes through the Telemetry Tracking and Telecommand Station of ISRO in Brunei, Mr Ansari said, “The station was a crucial component in India’s spectacular success in deploying the Mangalyaan in orbit around Mars”.
Pitching the India story, Mr Ansari made a case for attracting investments from Brunei in infrastructure and manufacturing sectors. Showcasing the government’s flagship programmes, he said that it has opened several avenues for profitable investments. “Our new ‘Make in India’ initiative opens up new vistas for investments from ASEAN into India,” he said. He also spoke about the potential for investors in smart cities, roads and highways, ports, railways, power and urban infrastructure. The India-ASEAN Agreements on Trade in Services and Investment is expected to bolster the potential for investments by both countries. Speaking about ‘India’s Act East Policy’, Mr Ansari said, “Enhancing connectivity between India and ASEAN in all its aspects – physical, institutional and people-to-people, is a key strategic priority for us. Our North-Eastern region is our land-bridge to the ASEAN.”
Mr Ansari termed his three-day visit to the energy-rich Brunei as a “reaffirmation of the importance that India accords to its ties with Brunei and our keen desire to further deepen and intensify our relations.”
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