SINGAPORE’s Senior Minister of State Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs, Maliki Osman (pictured left), visited New Delhi for the Raisina Dialogue, from 8th to 10th January 2019, where he spoke on a panel on the topic ‘A New Delhi Consensus – India’s Imagination and Global Expectations’. This is the fourth edition of the Dialogue which is India’s flagship annual geopolitical and geo-strategic conference.
The inaugural address was delivered by Prime Minister of Norway H E Ms Erna Solberg in the presence of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj (pictured above). The Dialogue is co-hosted by the ORF and the Ministry of External Affairs of India. During the course of the panel discussion, SMS Maliki was asked what role India can play in the Asian region. He replied, “From the region’s perspective, we support Prime Minister Modi’s vision for India to play a more substantial role. So let me outline some of these in three broad areas: one, the economic opportunities that exist; two, the strategic opportunities; and three, the digital opportunities.” He noted from Southeast Asia’s perspective, there is certainly much more business to be done. In 2017, ASEAN’s trade in goods with India stood at US$73.6 billion while the same figure for China, Japan and South Korea ran upwards of US$150 billion each. So he felt that much more can be done between India and Southeast Asia.

Outside the areas of economics and trade, SMS Maliki said, “We also see India playing a much bigger role on the defence and strategic front. India’s continued participation in ASEAN on platforms such as the ADMM-Plus or the East Asia Summit remains crucial in addressing the common threats, like piracy, and opportunities in the region. We look forward to greater practical security cooperation between India and Southeast Asia, particularly through the inaugural edition of the trilateral maritime exercise among India, Singapore, and Thailand in the Andaman Sea in 2019.”
This year’s overall theme for the Dialogue was “A World Reorder: New Geometries; Fluid Partnerships; Uncertain Outcomes”. The multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion addressed issues arising from global transitions and the changing world order, triggered by unique leaders, innovative partnerships and disruptive technologies. The welcome address was delivered by Observer Research Foundation (ORF) President Samir Saran followed by opening remarks by ORF Chairman Sunjoy Joshi. Recordings of the panels and dialogues are currently available on YouTube.