India's Look East policy has started paying rich dividends: PM

Onboard Air India One, May 31 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Friday said India's Look East policy has started paying rich dividends.

Dr. Singh, who was interacting with the media onboard his special aircraft Air India One while returning home after his successful two-nation visit to Japan and Thailand, said the Look East policy of the Government of India is not a new development.

"When Narasimha Rao (Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao) was our Prime Minister, I was the Finance Minister. We charted out a course of action to get closer to South East Asian countries, particularly ASEAN and since then this process has been moving forward. ASEAN countries are now our strategic partners. And there are enormous opportunities of expanding trade ties, expanding investment relation, expanding maritime cooperation, expanding the scope of trade and investment," said Dr. Singh.

"And now, we have reached a stage where large-scale flow of trade and investment is now becoming a reality. We have for example the dedicated freight corridor where Japan is helping us, we have Mumbai-Delhi industrial corridor where also the Japanese will be available, also the Bombay-Bangalore corridor where also we expect there is a great interest of East Asian countries like Japan, Thailand and Malaysia. So, I am hopeful that this Look East policy of India is paying rich dividends and the results are going to improve as we move forward," he added.

India's Look East policy represents its efforts to cultivate extensive economic and strategic relations with the nations of Southeast Asia in order to bolster its standing as a regional power.

Initiated in 1991, marked a strategic shift in India's perspective of the world. It was developed and enacted during the government of Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and rigorously pursued by the successive administrations of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh. (ANI)

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