Dec 24, 2012

Singapore - ASEAN will continue to push for open skies agreement with India: PM Lee

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SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the issue of an open skies agreement between ASEAN and India is something which Singapore will continue to push for.

Speaking to the Singapore media at the end of his visit to New Delhi for the ASEAN-India commemorative summit, Mr Lee said passenger traffic keeps on growing, and hence the need for more capacity.

"I keep on making the point to them that if you want to engage Asia, if you want to engage ASEAN, this is really one of the easiest ways you can help to make it happen because if you open up the links, then the businessmen will travel, the tourists will travel, the business opportunities will be identified, more investments will come.

"I think the business people are quite persuaded but I think it's a subject we need to keep on pushing because some of the incumbent players, they prefer a slower pace. I hope there will be progress. The Singapore-India path we are discussing how to improve the air services agreement. The ASEAN-India air services agreement is something they have not started talking about, but we hope that they will begin soon," he shared.

Mr Lee concluded his trip to New Delhi with a visit to the Red Fort and he had the opportunity to meet the Singaporean team which took part in the ASEAN-India Car Rally.

The Prime Minister was encouraged by their participation, and it was also an opportunity for him to hear first-hand their experiences in driving 8,000 kilometres and through several states in ASEAN, before reaching New Delhi.

- CNA/ck

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