Singapore Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to Mark Contribution of Indian Diaspora in ASEAN Countries

The Asean-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be inaugurated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Singapore.


The annual Asean-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Singapore is set to begin from Jan. 6. The two-day conference, which will be attended by top leaders and businessmen from Singapore and India, will discuss the contribution of the Indian diaspora community in Southeast Asia.

About 2,500 participants from across the world will attend this year’s edition, the theme of which is “Ancient Route, New Journey: Diaspora in the Dynamic Asean-India Partnership.” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will inaugurate the event, to be attended, among others, by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan and Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran. Chandrajit Banerjee, the director general of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), is among the top business leaders scheduled to attend the conference. Swaraj is set to begin her year with a three-nation Southeast Asia tour, including, besides Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

“The Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is a large-scale event covering a wide range of sectors such as political relations, culture, connectivity, start-ups and science & technology. PIO delegations from all ASEAN countries, including Ministers, eminent personalities, business and socio-economic leaders, are participating in the event,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

The conference, which will be held at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, will feature a host of activities, such as the inaugural InSpreneur (India-Singapore/Asean Entrepreneurship Bridge), which will focus on start-ups, cyber security and disruptive technologies in manufacturing. “We expect Indian start-ups to tap into Singapore’s investor community, develop links with the start-ups in Singapore and also expand into the Asean market,” Jawed Ashraf, India’s High Commissioner to Singapore, told the Strait Times. Another objective is to promote India as a global destination for start-ups and fintech companies, and “attract Singapore’s excellent start-up community to India,” he added.

The event will also include a writer’s festival featuring Singaporean writers like Yu-Mei Balasingamchow, a film festival, an art exhibition, a photo exhibition on the two millennia of India-Southeast Asia links, as well as Ayurveda and yoga workshops.

The aim of the event is to highlight the “ancient human, maritime, cultural, commercial and religious links between India and Southeast Asia” and to promote greater economic, cultural and diplomatic cooperation between the two regions, Ashraf said, the report added.

The event coincides with the 25th anniversary of India-Asean dialogue partnership, which will be marked by a summit on Jan. 25 in New Delhi. Asean leaders have been invited by India to be chief guests at the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on Jan. 26.

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