· The India Economic Summit comes to a close with more than 800 participants meeting from across the region and around the world.
· Bilateral cooperation and innovation crucial for ‘shared prosperity’ say top public figures.
· Innovation can lift-up the region to become a ‘great area’ for development of cutting-edge technology.
· For more information about the Forum’s 2019 India Economic Summit, click here.
New Delhi, India, 4 October 2019 – The prime minister of Bangladesh and the deputy prime minister of Singapore both called for improved regional cooperation in South Asia and Southeast Asia during the closing session of the India Economic Summit 2019 this afternoon.
“We have always thought about this because of our geographical situation” in the middle of an East-West axis connecting the regions, said Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Initiatives might eventually include a trans-Asian highway and railway, she suggested. “Now I give more importance to connectivity with Southeast Asia.”
As evidence of her country’s commitment to regional integration, the prime minister called attention to the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation (BCIM), the multilateral trade and investment organization. Bilateral initiatives include cooperation on water and energy initiatives with India. While accepting large numbers of refugees from Myanmar, Bangladesh continues to work with the leaders of that nation on a wide range of issues.
Hasina expressed her desire for “shared prosperity,” a concept echoed verbatim by Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of Singapore. “We need to create a framework for cooperation,” said the Singaporean official. He believes that South Asia-Southeast Asia can become a “great area” for the development of cutting-edge technology. Extending beyond digital technology and artificial intelligence, this should include research and development into new agricultural techniques, he added.
Reflecting on the challenges and opportunities of the region, the meeting produced numerous notable outcomes:
The summit succeeded in bringing many innovative ideas to the fore. To ensure these and other initiatives progress, the World Economic Forum launched a high-level Regional Stewardship Board for South Asia. It has a one-year mandate to shape and develop the Forum’s work in the region. High-level representatives from Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka will focus on shared regional challenges, including closing the skills gap, sustainable production and trade facilitation.
The World Economic Forum’s 33rd India Economic Summit took place in New Delhi from 3-4 October under the theme Innovating for India: Strengthening South Asia, Impacting the World. The two-day meeting convened more than 800 leaders from government, the private sector, academia and civil society with the aim of accelerating the adoption throughout South Asia of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and making the most of the region’s distinctive demographic dividends.
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