Bangkok: India on Sunday described Thailand as a valued partner in its ‘Act East’ Policy and said it envisage a more vigorous and proactive engagement with the strategic and economically vibrant Southeast Asia region as part of its efforts to reposition itself at the world stage.
“Our Government is resolved to move with a great sense of priority and speed to implement the ‘Act East Policy’,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said here today during an interaction with Indian business leaders.
“We envisage a more vigorous and proactive engagement with this economically vibrant region of our extended neighbourhood,” she said, insisting that the NDA government has engaged closely with India’s neighbourhood, strengthened bilateral ties with major countries, energised engagement with the East and repositioned India at the world stage.
She said that India’s ‘Look East’ Policy of the last two decades has been elevated to ‘Act East’ Policy under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I am happy to say that we have reached new milestones in our global outreach and made significant achievements in the last one year in transforming our relations with the outside world,” said Swaraj, who is here on a three-day bilateral visit and to attend the 16th World Sanskrit Conference.
Describing Thailand as an important pillar of India’s policy and a valued partner, she said the relationship between the two countries has expanded to virtually all areas of bilateral cooperation in recent years.
“Our bilateral relations with Thailand are based on deep-rooted cultural, religious and neighbourly association between the people of our two nations. Our common heritage of Buddhism and the philosophy of compassion, tolerance, non-violence and peace have laid strong foundations for this relationship,” she said.
“I am pleased to see that so many of you are in the leadership positions in corporates in Thailand and the region. In you I see the strength of our people-to-people relations. And in you I also see an influential group of leaders who can contribute to the economic growth of both Thailand and India,” she told the leading Indian business leaders.
She said her government is working on the simple 3C mantra – Commerce, Culture and Connectivity.
“In all these three areas I cannot overemphasise the importance of Thailand. We have embarked on ambitious projects for land connectivity with Thailand through Myanmar. We are also working on enhancing our sea connectivity with Thailand which is a maritime neighbour of India,” she said.