The two-day ASEAN INDIA – PRAVASI BHARATIYA DIVAS 2018 concluded on 7th January 2018 at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Hall in Singapore.
Organised by the High Commission of India in Singapore, under the able guidance of HE Jawed Ashraf, the first day started with Nitin Gadkari ji, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, India in the presence of Mr. S. Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore as well as leaders from several ASEAN countries.
The second day started with Sushma Swaraj ji, Minister of External Affairs, India, in the presence of Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Singapore.
Mr. Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Co-ordinating Minister for National Security and Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service, Singapore attended the Gala Dinner which marked the end of the days programme.
To continue with the theme of ‘Ancient Route New Journey’ the Gala Dinner had an apt tagline of ‘Ancient Route Enduring Flavours’ bringing to the table a fusion of culinary flavours from India and ASEAN.
Speeches, plenary discussions, interactions with media and Q & A sessions saw packed venues on the two days, which both started and ended with a fusion of cultural performances.
Awards were presented to members of the Indian diaspora and winners of several competitions, that had been well organised by the Indian High Commission of Singapore.
Day Two had another highlight when Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal ji, introduced ‘Advantage Assam’. A summit to engage on a global level to speed up Assam’s vision of being India’s expressway to ASEAN. Speedy growth of North East India being one of PM Narendra Modi ji’s top agendas.
Parallel events on Yoga, Ayurveda, and Youth, a Cinefest, Writers Festival, an Art exhibition and a Crafts Village with participation from non-resident Indians (NRIs) as well as persons of Indian origin added to the vibrancy of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
Overseas Indians are our unofficial ambassadors said Minister Sushma Swaraj, noting that the participation of the Indian diaspora and their contribution to the country in which they are living, make them an asset.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is officially on 9th January, India has turned 70 and 2017 was a year of milestones for India said Minister Sushma Swaraj ji.
2018 will mark another major milestone when for the first time ever, all heads of ASEAN will be in attendance as Chief Guests, in New Delhi, when India celebrates its Republic Day on 26th January 2017.
ASEAN and India have an interconnected history. An impactful interlinked future is now a rising expectation.